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) Cl r r~ \ i / o "T C_* O 


By Ellen Key 

The Century of the Child 
The Education of the Child 
Love and Marriage 
The Woman Movement 

Woman Movement 


Ellen Key 

Author of 
"The Century of the Child," "Love and Marriage," etc. 

Translated by 

Mamah Bouton Borthwick, A.M. 

With an Introduction by 

Havelock Ellis 

G. P. Putnam s Sons 

New York and London 
fmicfeerbocfter press 



Ube Knickerbocker pre?s, flew orft 

Es gibt kein Vergangenes das man zurucksehnen durfte; es 
gibt nur ein ewig Neues, das sich aus den erweiterten Elementen 
des Vergangenen gestaltet, und die echte Sehnsucht muss stets 
productiv sein, ein neues, besseres Erschaffen. GOETHE. 

" There is no past that we need long to return to, 
there is only the eternally new which is formed out 
of enlarged elements of the past; and our genuine 
longing must always be productive, for a new and 
better creation." 



THE literature upon the right and the worth 
of woman, beginning as early as the I5th century, 
has in recent times increased so enormously that 
a complete collection would require a whole library 
building. In these writings are represented all 
classes, from tables of statistics to comic papers. 
Not only both sexes but almost all stages of life 
have contributed to it. By immersing oneself in 
this literature, especially in its belletristic and 
polemic portions, one could find rich material for 
the illumination of that sphere to which the pub 
lisher limited my work : the indication of the new 
spiritual conditions, transformations, and reciprocal 
results which the woman movement has effected. 
Historic, scientific, political, economic, juridical, 
sociological, and theological points of view must, 
therefore, be practically set aside. But even for 
my task, limited to the psychological sphere, time, 
strength, and inclination are wanting to bury my 
self in this literature. I must, therefore, confine 
myself to giving chiefly my own observations. 

It is more than fifty years ago that I read 
Hertha, Sweden s first "feministic" (dealing with 



the woman question) novel, and listened to 
the numerous contentions concerning it. With 
ever keener personal interest I have since followed 
the operations of the woman movement above all, 
the new psychic conditions, types, and forms of 
activities which the woman movement has evoked ; 
I have also given consideration to the new possi 
bilities and new difficulties resulting therefrom for 
individuals and for society. 

The limited compass of this little book prevents 
me from substantiating my assertions by means of 
parallels with earlier times, comparisons which 
might illuminate certain spiritual transformations 
and new formations. My comparisons of the 
present with the past do not go farther back than 
my own memory reaches. And these touch, more 
over, in what concerns the past, principally up 
on Swedish conditions; while my impressions of 
the present were gathered throughout Europe. I 
have considered, however, that I could summarise 
both in a comprehensive picture. For although 
the women of Sweden a generation ago possessed 
rights for which the women in many countries are 
still struggling to-day, yet the woman movement 
in the last decade has advanced so rapidly that 
the conditions have in great measure been equal 
ised. Indeed, some of the grey-haired champions 
of the woman movement have seen one after 
another of their demands fulfilled in this new cen 
tury demands which in the fifties and sixties, in 
many countries even in the seventies and eighties, 

Preface vii 

were publicly and privately derided even in the 
very person of these champions. And among 
peoples who even ten years ago were unaffected 
by the emancipation of women, for example the 
Chinese and the Turks, it is already progressing. 
It amounts to this, that even if national peculiari 
ties in character and in laws occasion differences 
in the curve which the woman movement describes 
in the different countries, yet everywhere the 
movement has had the same causes, must follow 
the same main direction, and sooner or later 
must have the same effects. 

In Hertha, the book containing the tenets of the 
Swedish woman movement, the demand is made 
for woman s "freedom and future, and a home for 
her spiritual life"; the desire is expressed that 
women should "preserve the character of their 
own nature, and not be uniformly moulded, not 
be led by a string as if they had not a soul of their 
own to show them the way." There must be 
"vital air for woman s soul and a share in life s 
riches." It is to be lamented that "woman s 
spiritual talent must be a field that lies fallow," 
that the law "denies her free agency in seeking 
happiness." The prerogative is demanded that 
"woman in noble self-conscious joy shall succeed 
in feeling what she is able to do now and what she 
is capable of attaining"; that she shall be free to 
"aspire to the heights her youthful strength and 
consciousness point out to her"; that she may 

viii Preface 

"be fully herself and be able to exercise an uplift 
ing, ennobling influence upon the man" to whom 
she says: "All that is mine shall be thine and 
thereby the portion of each shall be doubled." 

Even if all fields are made accessible to them, 
"God s law in their nature will always lead the 
majority of women to the home, to the intimacy 
of the family life, to motherhood and the duties 
of rearing children but with a higher conscious 
ness." That women shall be citizens signifies that 
they shall become "human beings in whom the 
life of the heart predominates." 

This picture of the future, which has already 
become a reality in many respects, was sketched 
at a time when innumerable women were still com 
pelled to experience that there is no heavier bur 
den than life s emptiness," and when it was true of 
every woman, "dark is her way, gloomy her future, 
narrow her lot." 

But because that which is, is always considered 
by the masses as that which ought to be, whatever 
is, is right," so the writer who painted the pic 
ture was called "dangerous," "a disintegrator of 
society," "mad," "ridiculous"! "Mademoiselle 
Bremer s" name possessed then quite a different 
intonation from that of Fredrika Bremer now; 
it caused strife between the sexes; it was hated by 
some and derided by others. 

I should like to advise young women of the 
present time to read Plertha; they will thus obtain 
a criterion for the progress which has taken place 

Preface ix 

during the last half century and also a clear view 
of the character of the opposition which the present 
desire for progress encounters. 

October i, 1909. 


THERE can be little doubt that at the present 
moment what is called the "Woman s Movement" 
is entering a critical period of its development. 
A discussion of its present problems and its present 
difficulties by one of the most advanced leaders 
in that movement thus appears at the right time 
and deserves our most serious attention. 

The early promulgators of the Woman s Move 
ment, a century or more ago, rightly regarded it 
as an extremely large and comprehensive move 
ment affecting the whole of life. They were anx 
ious to secure for women adequate opportunities 
for free human development, to the same extent 
that men possess such opportunities, but they laid 
no special stress on the abolition of any single dis 
ability or group of disabilities, whether as regards 
education, occupation, marriage, property, or 
political enfranchisement. They were people of 
wide and sound intelligence; they never imagined 
that any single isolated reform would prove a cheap 
panacea for all the evils they wished to correct; 
they looked for a slow reform along the whole line. 
They held that such reform would enrich and en 
large the entire field of human life, not for women 
pnly, but for the human race generally. Such, 
ndeed, is the spirit which still inspires the wisest 

xii Introduction 

and most far-seeing champions of that Movement. 
It is only necessary to mention Olive Schreiner s 
Woman and Labour. 

When, however, the era of actual practical re 
form began, it was obvious that a certain amount 
of concentration became necessary. Education 
was, reasonably enough, usually the first point 
for concentration, and gradually, without any 
undue friction, the education of girls was, so far 
as possible, raised to a level not so very different 
from that of boys. This first great stage in the 
Woman s Movement inevitably led on to the 
second stage, which lay in a struggle, not this time 
always without a certain amount of friction, to 
secure the entry of these now educated women to 
avocations and professions previously monopolised 
by the men who had alone been trained to fill them. 
This second stage is now largely completed, and 
at the present time there are very few vocations 
and professions in civilised lands, even in so con 
servative and slowly moving a land as England, 
which women are not entitled to exercise equally 
with men. Concomitantly with this movement, 
however, and beginning indeed, very much 
earlier, and altogether apart from any conscious 
"movement" at all, there was a tendency to 
change the laws in a direction more favourable 
to women and their personal rights, especially as 
regards marriage and property. These legal re 
forms were effected by Parliaments of men, elected 
exclusively by men, and for the most part they 

Introduction xiii 

were effected without any very strong pressure 
from women. It had, however, long been claimed 
that women themselves ought to have some part 
in making the laws by which they are governed, 
and at this stage, towards the middle of the last 
century, the demand for women s parliamentary 
suffrage began to be urgently raised. Here, how 
ever, the difficulties naturally proved very much 
greater than they were in the introduction of a 
higher level of education for women, or even in 
the opening up to them of hitherto monopolised 
occupations. In new countries, and sometimes 
in small old countries, these difficulties could be 
overcome. But in large and old countries, of 
stable and complex constitution, it was very far 
from easy to readjust the ancient machinery in 
accordance with the new demands. The difficulty 
by no means lay in any unwillingness on the part 
of the masculine politicians in possession; on the 
contrary, it is a notable fact, often overlooked, 
that, in England especially, there have for at least 
half a century been a considerable proportion of 
eminent statesmen as well as of the ordinary rank 
and file of members of Parliament who are in 
favour of granting the suffrage to women, a much 
larger proportion, probably, than would be found 
favourable to this claim in any other section of 
the community. That, indeed, apart from the 
delay involved by ancient constitutional methods, 
has been the main difficulty. Neither among 
the masculine electors nor among their women- 

xiv Introduction 

folk has there been any consuming desire to achieve 
women s suffrage. 

The result has been a certain tendency in the 
Woman s Movement to diverge in two different 
directions. On the one hand, are those who, re 
cognising that all evolution is slow, are content 
to await patiently the inevitable moment when 
the political enfranchisement of women will be 
come possible, in the meanwhile working towards 
women s causes in other fields equally essential 
and sometimes more important. On the other 
hand, a small but energetic, sometimes even 
violent, section of the women engaged in this 
movement concentrated altogether on the suffrage. 
The germs of this divergence may be noted even 
thirty years back when we find Miss Cobbe de 
claring that wjpjnaii[s_suffrage is " the : crown and 
Qf all progress in woman *s movements, 

while Mrs. Cady Stanton, perhaps more wisely, 
stated that it was merely a vestibule to progress. 
In recent years the difference has become accentu 
ated, sometimes even into an acute opposition, 
between those who maintain that the one and only 
thing essential, and that immediately and at all 
costs, even at the cost of arresting and putting 
back the progress of women in all other directions, 
is the parliamentary suffrage, and on the other 
hand, those who hold that the suffrage, however 
necessary, is still only a single point, and that the 
woman s movement is far wider and, above all, 
far deeper than any mere political reform. 

Introduction xv 

It is at this stage that Ellen Key comes before 
us with her book on The Woman s Movement, first 
published in Swedish in 1909, and now presented 
to the reader in English. As Ellen Key views the 
Woman s Movement, it certainly includes all that 
those who struggle for votes for women are fighting 
for; she is unable to see, as she puts it, why a 
woman s hands need be more soiled by a ballot 
paper than by a cooking recipe. But she is far 
indeed from the well-intentioned but ignorant 
fanatics who fancy that the vote is the alpha and 
the omega of Feminism ; and still less is she in 
sympathy with those who consider that its import 
ance is so supreme as to justify violence and rob 
bery, a sort of sex war on mankind generally, and 
the casting in the mud of all those things which 
it has been the gradual task of civilisation to 
achieve, not for men only but for women. The 
Woman s Movement, as Ellen Key sees it, in 
cludes the demand for the vote, but it looks upon 
the vote merely as a reasonable condition for 
attaining far wider and more fundamental ends. 
She is of opinion that the Woman s Movement will 
progress less by an increased aptitude to claim 
rights than by an increased power of self -develop 
ment, that it is not by what they can seize, but by 
what they are, that women, or for the matter of 
that men, finally count. She regards the task of 
women as constructive rather than destructive; 
they are the architects of the future humanity, 
and she holds that this is a task that can only be 

xvi Introduction 

carried out side by side with men, not because 
man s work and woman s work is, or should be, 
identical, but because each supplements and aids 
the other, and whatever gives greater strength 
and freedom to one sex equally fortifies and 
liberates the other sex. 

Certainly we may not all agree with Ellen Key 
at every point, nor always accept her interpreta 
tion of the great movement of which she is so 
notable a pioneer. The breadth of her sympathies 
may sometimes seem to lead to an impracticable 
eclecticism, and, in the rejection of narrow and 
trivial aims, she may too sanguinely demand an 
impossible harmony of opposing ideals. But if 
this is an error it is surely an error on the right 
side. She has not put forward this book as a mani 
festo of the advanced guard of the Woman s Move 
ment, but merely as the reflections of an individual 
woman who, for nearly half a century, has pond 
ered, felt, studied, observed this movement in 
many parts of the world. But it would not be 
easy to find a book in which the claims of Feminism 
in the largest modern sense are more reason 
ably and temperately set forth. 

LONDON, May i, 1912. 






MOVEMENT ..... 23 


MOVEMENT ..... 58 





GENERAL. . . . . in 




The Woman Movement 


THE first "woman movement" was Eve s ges 
ture when she reached for the fruit of the Tree of 
Knowledge a movement symbolic of the entire 
subsequent woman s movement of the world. For 
the will to pass beyond established bounds has 
constantly been the motive of her conscious as 
well as of her subconscious quest. Every genera 
tion has called this transgression, this passing 
beyond the bounds, a "fall of man," the "original 
sin," a crime against God s express command, a 
crime against the nature of woman as prescribed 
for her for all time. 

And yet from the beginning women have 
appeared who have passed far beyond the estab 
lished boundaries set for their sex by their era and 
upheld by their own people. They have demon 
strated that limitations thus prescribed do not 
always coincide with what is considered by the 
majority to be the "nature" of woman. Atone 
time a woman has manifested the "masculine" 
i i 

2 The Woman Movement 

characteristics of a ruler or has performed a "mas 
culine" deed; at another time she has distinguished 
herself in "masculine" learning or art, or again 
has dared to love without the permission of 
law and custom. In a word the individual woman, 
when her head or her heart was strong enough, has 
always shown the possibilities of the development 
of personal power. But she has had in that effort 
only her own strength and her own will upon which 
to rely ; she has neither been urged on by the spirit 
of her time (Zeitgeist} nor been emulated by the 
masses. Exceptional women have sometimes been 
glorified by their contemporaries and by posterity 
as "wonders of nature"; sometimes been cited as 
"warning examples." Seen in connection with 
the world s woman movement all these instances, 
where a bond was broken by woman s power of 
mind or creative gift, by a heart or a conscience, 
are parts of what can be called the "prehistoric" 
woman movement. This movement for personal 
freedom formed no step in that phase of the de 
velopment which possesses a conscious purpose, 
but was merely sporadic. Even so the participation 
was 1 ng nameless which women tcok n th great 
struggles for freedom where, without consideration 
for the "nature" of woman, they dared bleed upon 
the arena and scaffold, ascend the pyre, and be 
raised upon the gibbet. Very rarely did these 
women martyrs alter immediately men s or even 
women s conception of woman s "being." But 
just as many perfumes are dissipated only after 

Introduction 3 

centuries, so there are also deeds whose indirect 
results persist through centuries. 

Most significant, however, upon the whole in 
the "prehistoric" woman movement, are innumer 
able women whose souls found expression only 
in the strong, quiet acts of every day life but yet 
remained living and growing. As a reason for the 
"enslavement" of woman by man, the primitive 
division of labour is still occasionally cited. This 
division of labour made war and the chase man s 
task and so developed in him courage, energy, and 
daring, while the woman remained the "beast of 
burden." But we forget that, in this labour 
arrangement, the handicraft and husbandry which 
woman practised at that time made her, to perhaps 
a higher degree than man, the conservitor of civil 
isation and probably developed her psychic power 
in more comprehensive manner than his. 

Even after this division of labour ceased there 
remained and remain still in innumerable country 
households in and through many of the import 
ant and difficult tasks of the mother of the house, 
numerous possibilities for spiritual development. 
And exactly in this respect industrial work robs 
the woman of much. 

By the side of these innumerable nameless 
women who, century after century, in and through 
the material work of culture which they performed, 
increased their psychic power, we must remember 
all the unnamed women who with flower-like 
quiet mien turned their souls to the light. 

4 The Woman Movement 

Antique sepulchres and Tanagra figures tell us 
more about the harmonious, refined corporeality 
of the Hellenic woman than the famous statues 
of Aphrodite or Athena. In like manner it is not 
the illustrious but the nameless women who most 
clearly reveal the will of the woman soul, in 
antiquity, for light and life. 

Numbers of Greek women were disciples of the 
philosophers, some even were their inspiration. 
Generally courtesans, these women represented 
the "emancipation" of that time from the servile 
condition of the legitimate married women and 
also showed that women already longed to share 
in the interests of men and to acquire their culture. 
History has preserved also words and deeds of 
wives and mothers of the past which show that 
these also at times attained "masculine" greatness 
of soul and civic virtue. Pythias and Sibyls, 
Vestals and Valas, are other witnesses that the 
power of woman s soul was active and recognised 
long before Christianity. Even among the purely 
primitive races there were found and are found 
cases in which woman in power and rights was 
placed, not only on an equality with man, but even 
above him. And if, on the one hand, the rigid 
exactions which men from the earliest time have 
fixed upon the wife s fidelity while they them 
selves had full freedom for promiscuity show that 
the wife_was considered as the property of the Jius- 
band, so, on the other hand, this very conception 
was a means of elevating and refining the soul life 

Introduction 5 

of woman. For the self-control which she had to 
impose upon herself deepened her feeling for a 
devotion which embraced only one, the man to 
whom she belonged. Nothing would be more 
superficial than to estimate the real position of 
woman, among any special people, only by what 
we know of their laws. It is as if one, in a few 
centuries from now, should judge the actual posi 
tion of the modern European wife by referring it 
to the wretched marriage laws which now ob 
tain. They forget the deep gulf between law and 
custom who declare that marriage devotion, venera 
tion for the sanctity of the home, esteem for the 
spiritual being of the wife first arose as a result 
of Christianity. 

It is significant enough for the freeing of woman 
that Jesus raised the personal worth of all mankind 
through His teaching that whoever or whatever 
the person in outer respects may be every soul/ 
possesses .an eternal value comprised, as it were, inl 
God s love; significant enough that Jesus Himself, 
because of this point of view, treated every woman, ( 
even the sinner, with kindness and respect. 
Because of the increasing uncertainty concerning 
the real ideals of Jesus, one is compelled to assume 
that just as Veronica s handkerchief preserved 
the imprint of Jesus outer image the manner of 
life of the oldest Christian communities has pre 
served the imprint of His teaching. It is signifi 
cant of their doctrines that in these communities 
women and men stood side by side in the same 

6 The Woman Movement 

faith, in the same hope, in the same exercise of love, 
and in the same martyrdom. Here was "neither 
man nor woman," but all were one in the hope 
of the speedy second coming of Jesus to establish 
God s Kingdom. 

But the more this hope faded, the more the 
Pagan- Jewish conception of woman again made 
itself felt. It is true the Church sought to place 
man and woman on an equality in regard to certain 
marriage duties and rights ; to uphold on both sides 
the sanctity of marriage; to protect women and 
children against despotism. It is true the Church 
strove to counteract crude sensuality, utilising, 
among other things, an emphasis of celibacy as the 
expression of the highest spirituality. 

But, on the other hand, the doctrine of this 
Church became the greatest obstacle to the eleva 
tion of woman, because it lessened the reverence 
for her mission as a being of sex. Marriage, the 
only recognised ends of which were the prevention 
of unchastity and the propagation of the race, was 
looked upon as an inferior condition in comparison 
with pure virginity. And the more this ideal of 
% chastity was extolled, the^more woman was_de^. 
graded and considered the mosT^gnevous tempta 
tion o7lna^nirTiis~strivmg after higher sanctity. 
Before God, solnah Taught, man and woman were 
truly equal ; but not inhuman relationships or quali 
ties ; yes, and man has gone in this direction even to 
the point of debating the question in church coun 
cils, as to whether woman really had a soul or not! 

Introduction 7 

But when the Church revered- pure virginity in 
the person of the Mother of Jesus ,_jt_ffias woman 
in highest Form ras_happy or suffering mother 
that the ChurcbLiiriconsclously glorified. In the 
, statues and altar pieces of the cathedral man wor- 
\ ships, in the likeness of Mary, the purest and 
\noblest womanhood. The virtues especially ex- 
tolled by the Church were also those in which Mary 
in particular and woman in general had pre-emi- 
nence. By all these impressions a soul condition 
was created in which the heart penetrated by 
religious ecstasy, must, of psychological necessity, 
devote itself to the earthly manifestations of this 
same pure womanhood. Generally this devotion 
was only an ecstatic cult, an adoration from afar 
of an ideal, inspiring deeds or poetry. Sometimes 
this ecstasy fused the being of man and woman 
in the sensuous-soulful unity of great love. But 
when neither was the case, yet the adoration of 
knights and minnesingers increased the esteem of 
man for woman and the esteem of woman for her 
self. It also contributed to the esteem of man for 
woman that, as the men were always obliged to 
stand in arms, they could rarely acquire the learn 
ing which the priests and through them the 
wives and daughters of the castles acquired. The 
superiority of woman in this respect had a refining 
influence upon manners and customs and upon the 
general culture of the time. Often through a 
number of women auditors the poem of a minne 
singer first became famous. When in Mainz one 

8 The Woman Movement 

sees Heinrich Frauenlob s tombstone, one compre 
hends, through the soulful noble lines, how mourn 
ing women bore him to the grave, as the little 
bas-relief at the base of the stone represents. Their 
sympathy made him their singer and his sympathy 
revealed, to their time and to themselves, their 
own being. Woman s ideal of love became 
through poetry and courts of love the ideal also 
of the most cultured men. We see here a move 
ment of the time which women already half con 
sciously effected by their life of feeling and their 
culture. The authority which the wife exercised 
as lady of the manor during the absence, often of 
many years duration, of her husband gave her 
increased power to disseminate about her that 
finer culture which she herself had gained. But 
when the lords of the manor returned and again 
assumed power, then indeed at times strange 
thoughts might have come to their wives, while 
they fixed their glance, under the great arched 
eyelids, upon the missal or the romance of chivalry 
or, with long tapering fingers, moved the chessmen 
or played the harp, or while they bent the slender 
white neck over the embroidery frame or the lace- 
pillow upon which they wrought veritable marvels 
of handicraft. Perhaps even then there stirred 
under many a brow the presentiment of a time in 
which the relationship between man and woman 
would be different. Such thoughts must have 
arisen also in the manor-houses when the men be 
gan to arrogate to themselves one handicraft after 

Introduction 9 

another, occupations which in earlier times the 
daughters once learned from their fathers, at whose 
side they sometimes even entered the guild. Could 
even the nun s veil prevent such thoughts from 
rising between the white temples of some of the 
women who suffering or superfluous outside in 
the world had found refuge in the cloister? Here 
was accomplished most peacefully the "emancipa 
tion," of that time, of the intellectual and artistic 
gifts of woman, for whom religion and the life of 
the cloister had always employment. And if the 
soul of a nun was greater and richer than usual, 
then might it indeed have happened that she 
devoted herself to meditation, in a quandary as 
to whether all of God s purposes for the gifts of 
her soul were truly fulfilled. And this the more 
intently since even then many women outside the 
cloister women whose religious inspiration di 
rected their genius to great ends outside in the 
world, exercised a powerful influence upon the 
thought as upon the events of their time and, af 
ter death as saints, retained power over souls. 
Our Birgitta, for example, possessed herself of 
a great part of "woman s rights." 

So significant had the psychic power of woman 
shown itself to be in the Middle Ages that already 
in the early Renaissance it brought forth a num 
ber of "feminist" writers, both women and men. 
And in the height of the Renaissance there was 
quite an "emancipation" literature, about women 
and by women. This literature increased during 

io The Woman Movement 

the following centuries. Famous men emphasised 
the importance of a higher education of woman; 
some, as early as the beginning of the i6th century, 
claimed the absolute superiority of woman in all 
things. Greater freedom, education, and rights, 
in one or another respect, were demanded by men 
as well as women "feminists." This literature 
purposed less, however, to alter some given condi 
tions than, by means of examples of famous women 
of antiquity, to demonstrate the personal right 
and the social gain of what already obtained with 
out hindrance, although with the disapproval of 
many: that numbers of women had appeared 
who in classic culture, in the practice of learned 
professions, in political or religious, intellectual 
or aesthetic interests, stood beside the men of Hu 
manism, the Renaissance, and the Reformation. 

The ideal of the time, the fully developed human 
personality of marked individuality, determined 
the conduct of life of women exactly as that of men. 
Both sexes cherished the life- value which the 
original, isolated, individual personality signified 
for other such personalities. Both sexes appro 
priated to themselves the right to choose that 
which was harmonious with their own natures, 
that which soul or sense, thought or feeling, 
desired. It followed from this conception that 
women sought to attain the highest degree of the 
beauty and grace of their own sex and at the same 
time to cultivate what "manly" courage or genius 
nature had given them attributes which men 

Introduction n 

valued in them next to their purely womanly 

But at this time it was not the work of woman 
which had the great cultural significance, but the 
human essence of her being reflected in the works of 
men. In antiquity woman exhibited the manly 
qualities of greatness of soul and civic virtue; in 
the Middle Ages she revealed the same faculty as 
man for saintliness and exercise of love; in the 
Renaissance she manifested the same ability as 
man to mould her own personality into a living 
work of art. If the spirit of equality between the 
sexes, which prevailed in the Renaissance, had 
further directed the progress of development, a 
"woman movement" would never have arisen, 
because its ends, which are to-day still contended 
for, would have been attained one after another, 
at the appointed time, as natural fruits of the 
florescence of the Renaissance. 

As it is, this florescence acquired only very slight 
immediate influence upon the emancipation of 
woman and the farther North one goes the 
slighter it becomes. The periods of the Coun 
ter-Reformation, of the Religious Wars and of 
the new Orthodoxy, on the contrary, had as re 
sult an enormous retrogression in the position of 

The "Deliverance of the Flesh," which was 
accomplished by the verdict of Protestantism upon 
the life of the cloister, and by its support of mar 
riage, had little in common with the deep feeling 

12 The Woman Movement 

for the right and beauty of corporeality by which 
the Renaissance, intoxicated with life, became the 
era of the great renascence of art. Luther s con 
ception of the sex life, as "sanctified" by marriage, 
was so crassly utilitarian that it again dragged 
woman down from that high level upon which the 
finest life of feeling and culture of the Middle Ages 
and of the Renaissance had placed her. 

As matron of the household, woman retained her 
authority. The rational, common-sense marriage 
was the one most conformable to this literal doc 
trine of Luther, and the most usual. To the man 
who had chosen her, the wife bore children by the 
dozen and threescore. The Church gave her soul 
nourishment. If a woman occasionally sought to 
exercise her spiritual gifts in a "worldly" direction, 
she needed powerful protection, else she ran the 
danger of being burned as a witch ! 

Yet in spite of all, even this period produced not 
a few women who procured for themselves the 
learning after which they thirsted, who succeeded 
in keeping their souls alive, in finding springs in 
the midst of the stony wastes of the desert. The 
more, however, the different branches of learning 
developed, and especially as Latin became the 
language of the learned, the more difficult it 
became for women to force their way to these 
springs, sealed for the majority of their sex. For 
a classical education became more and more in 
frequently extended to the daughter, for whom 
even the ability to read and write was con- 

Introduction 13 

sidered a temptation to deviation from the path 
of virtue. * 

That women in time of persecution adhered to 
the new doctrine with warm belief and suffered 
for it with the whole strength of their souls, that 
in time of war they managed house and estate 
with power and understanding, altered in no re 
spect, at the time, woman s social or marriage 
position. Man was woman s sovereign master and 
therefore a good bit nearer God than she. In 
marriage woman was considered, according to 
the bishop s word, "man s chattel," outside of 
marriage as a tool of the devil. But however 
deeply the soul of woman was oppressed at this 
time, yet it still lived and endowed sons, in whom 
the strong but unexercised endowments of the 
mother became genius ; it endowed daughters, who 
secretly procured sustenance for their souls and 
who in turn transmitted their rebellious spirit 
to a daughter or granddaughter. 

When at the end of the period of Orthodoxy and 
Absolutism, the great fundamental principle of 
Protestantism, the principle of personality, once 
more made headway, one of the most characteristic 
expressions of this reaction is that, in England, 
Milton wrote upon the right of divorce and Defoe 

1 In the summer of 1909 I sat in a Swedish home where the 
grandmother, for this reason, had never learned to write but 
where the granddaughter read aloud the thesis for her bachelor s 
examination. One hears even to-day of customs and points of 
view in certain farms and manses which faithfully imitate those 
of the time of the Reformation. 

14 The Woman Movement 

upon the right of woman to the development and 
exercise of her mental powers. Among others 
who demanded greater education for women were 
Comenius in Germany and Fenelon in France. It 
was not in the former country that woman, so long 
oppressed, first won her great cultural influence. 
That happened in the land where women had never 
wholly lost it. In France, in the age of enlighten 
ment, it was the salons created by women that 
determined the European spirit of the time. Let 
ters and memoirs indicate sufficiently the influence 
of woman in good as well as in bad sense in 
politics and literature, manners, customs, and 
taste. Women transform indirectly the political, 
philosophic, and scientific style. For they demand 
that every subject be treated in a manner easily 
comprehensible and agreeable to them. A num 
ber of writings appeared which aimed to make it 
easy for "women folk" also "to be freed through 
the reason." 

Since it was the approval of women which deter 
mined fame, men were only too eager to fulfil their 
expressed demands. Women disseminated the 
ideas of men in wide circles, partly by buying their 
writings in great numbers and distributing them, 
partly also by social life. Never has woman more 
perfectly accomplished the important task of ad 
justing culture values. The art of conversation, 
developed to the highest perfection, was, it is true, 
often only a game of battledore and shuttlecock 
with ideas. But it performed at the same time, 

Introduction 15 

and in more elegant and more effective manner, a 
great part of the office of to-day s Press. The 
political leader, art and literary criticism, gossip 
(causerie), the "portrait gallery" of contempo 
raries all this was gathered from clever dis 
course. Through their art of conversation the 
women became next to the philosophers and 
statesmen who in this or that salon were the lead 
ing spirits the intellectual leaders of the time; 
they created "enlightened opinion," they co-opera 
ted finally in the Revolution. The mistresses of 
these salons scarcely felt the need of an emancipa 
tion of woman; for they had for themselves as 
many possibilities of culture, of development of 
their powers, of the exercise of their faculties, as 
even they themselves could wish. The intellectual 
curiosity, which coveted learning, and the cultural 
interest of these women penetrated in wider circles, 
and a result of this general awakening was the 
Woman s Lyceum founded in Paris in 1786, among 
the students of which were found, some years later, 
enthusiastic supporters of the Revolution. 

Also among the German peoples there appeared, 
in the age of enlightenment, women with literary 
and scientific interest; some with extraordinary 
gifts which they also exercised. But for the most 
part women and men under more clumsy social 
forms, so called "Academies" and "Societies," 
engaged in their "learned pastime"; and nowhere, 
except in the person of some ruler, did woman 
attain in Europe, in the age of enlightenment, an 

1 6 The Woman Movement 

influence which can be compared to that of the 
French women. 

In the midst of the period of rococo elegance 
and gallantry, of reason and esprit, came the great 
regeneration, the second Renaissance the Re 
vival of Feeling. This occurred first in the field 
of religion, through the pietistic movement of the 
time. Later it was Rousseau who, in connection 
with religion, nature, love, motherhood, became 
the liberator of feeling, and together with him 
were the English "sentimental" poets and the 
German poetry, which reached its culminating 
point in Goethe. Literature, the Theatre, and 
Art came more and more to the front and, by that 
means, women acquired greater possibilities of 
becoming acquainted with, understanding, and 
loving the richest culture of the time. 

And with this Revival of Feeling, personal free 
dom, individual character, became again the great 
life value. Women who wish to give expression 
to their feeling in their life now become more num 
erous: women who are conscious that their being 
buries many unsatisfied demands, not only in con 
nection with the right of culture of their natural 
character, but also in connection with the right, 
in private life and in society, to give expression to 
this natural character. Men are continually in 
intellectual interchange with women, giving as 
well as receiving; woman nature is esteemed with 
ever finer comprehension. 

Since feelings determine thoughts for the 

Introduction 17 

thought always goes in the direction in which 
the feeling says happiness is to be found so it is 
natural that, in the second half of the i8th century, 
the idea of freedom is the ideal which kindles the 
soul of increasing numbers of women. The eman 
cipation of the individual is the tale within the 
tale, from the Renaissance up to the struggles of 
the Reformation for freedom of conscience, free 
dom of learning, freedom of investigation, and 
freedom of thought. Then finally came the strug 
gle for constitutionally protected civic freedom. 
In America as early as 1776 the demand for the 
enfranchisement of women was raised, because 
they had taken part in the struggle for freedom 
with such great enthusiasm and constancy. With 
the same passion they threw themselves into the 
struggle in France for the "Rights of Man." But 
both times they had to learn to their sorrow that 
"fellow-citizen" and "man" were terms which as 
yet referred only to men. That a woman during 
the French Revolution proclaimed "Women s 
Rights," that women discussed these questions 
as well as questions of education and other vital 
questions, with ardour, had as little immediate 
effect as the attempt at that time to enforce the 
right of the fourth estate. These sorely oppressed 
movements, of women and of working men, dom 
inate the i Qth century and now at the beginning 
of the 2Oth have every reason for assurance of 

In the 1 7th and i8th centuries men and women 

1 8 The Woman Movement 

writers appeared in different countries to demon 
strate and establish the worth and right of woman 
as man. Indirectly inspired by the great women 
of the earlier centuries, they were immediately 
influenced by woman s political and cultural exer 
cise of power in the 1 8th century. Especially 
notable are the arguments which were advanced 
in the go s of the i8th century by writers mani 
festly uninfluenced by one another the Swede, 
Thorild, in The Natural Nobility of Womankind; 
the German, Hippel; the Frenchman, Condorcet; 
the English woman, Mary Wollstonecraft. All in 
sist that difference in sex can form no obstacle 
to placing woman on an equality with man in the 
family and in society ; that she shall have the same 
right as man to education and free agency. The 
men writers emphasised more her individual 
human right, as "man," and the advantage to 
society; the women writers more the mother s 
need of culture and her right to it, in order to be 
able to rear and protect her children better. But 
all four ideas are, at heart, determined by the same 
point of view which the great philosopher of evo 
lution thus formulated later: the fundamental con 
dition for social equilibrium is the same as for human 
happiness and lies in the law of equal freedom. And 
this means that every one without regard to dif 
ference between sex and sex, man and man must 
have the right and the opportunity to develop and 
exercise his own capacities. For no one to-day 
can undertake so certain a valuation of talents 

Introduction 19 

that this valuation could justify society in restrict 
ing, a priori, the right of a single one of its mem 
bers to develop his capacities, even though these 
capacities might take such a direction, later, that 
society would be compelled to limit their exercise. 

Spencer arrived by the deductive method at the 
same demand Romanticism reached earlier by the 
intuitive method. Romanticism recognised that 
in the measure in which the individual is unusual 
he must be also unintelligible, for he shows to the 
majority only his surface; his innermost soul only 
to those in harmony with him. Even in the family 
circle the individual often remains therefore undis 
covered. How much more then must society, 
composed for the most part of Philistines, outrage 
the individual if it concedes rights to one category, 
to one sex, to one class, and not to the other ! 

And from this point of view the Romanticists 
drew for women also the logical conclusion of indi 
vidualism. They pointed out that the sex charac 
ter, carried to the extreme, furnished neither the 
highest masculine nor the highest feminine type; 
that each sex must develop in itself both noble 
human universality and individual peculiarity. 
And this the great woman personalities did who 
shared the destiny of the Romanticists. They 
were thereby fully and wholly able to share also 
the intellectual life of their husbands. Love 
became thus a unity of souls. The romantic ideal 
of love was expressed in La Nouvelle Heloise, in 
Goethe s letters to Charlotte von Stein, in Rahel, 

20 The Woman Movement 

in Mme. de Stael. It was found in the first half 
of the 1 9th century in many great women; for 
example, George Sand, Elizabeth Barrett Brown 
ing, Camilla Collett. It appeared in Shelley and 
in the Swedish poet Almquist, in Stuart Mill and 
Robert Browning, also in certain French and Ger 
man poets and thinkers. This ideal has now been 
for some centuries the ideal of most women and 
of not a few men of feeling. 

But since a truly psychic unity is possible only 
between two beings who are, in outer as in inner 
sense, free, exactly for this reason, "romantic love " 
has as consequence the demand for the emancipa 
tion of woman. 

The love of Romanticism, which has been cari 
catured to the extent that it signified only moon 
shine, ecstasy, sonnets, and wife barter, had its 
real essence in the desire for completeness of soul 
in love. This was, in a new form, the ideal of the 
courts of love. But since completeness of soul 
means that all the powers of the soul can freely and 
fully penetrate and elevate one another, so the first 
requisite for that soulful love was that woman s 
thinking as well as her feeling, her imagination as 
well as her will, her desire for power, as well as her 
conscience, be freed from the shackles imposed 
upon them from without, in order to be strength 
ened and purified. The second stipulation was 
that man s inner, spiritual life be freed from the 
deteriorating results of the prerogatives and pre 
judices accorded to and maintained by his sex. 


A new ideal in the relationship between husband 
and wife, between mother and child; the demand 
of the feminine individuality for the right to free 
cultivation of her powers and to self-direction ; 
the need of new fields for this exercise of her power 
after industrialism began to usurp one branch of 
domestic work after another these are the funda 
mental reasons for what is called the middle-class 
woman movement. The middle-class woman 
because of the increasing surplus of women, 
because of the continually greater variety of eco 
nomic conditions and the decrease in marriage for 
this and other reasons was to an ever greater 
extent constrained to self-maintenance. Thus the 
economic reason for the woman movement, not 
only in the labouring class but also in the middle 
class, became the most effective influence opera 
ting in the widest circles, although the reasons men 
tioned previously were the first and deepest causes. 

And herewith we stand at the beginning of the 
woman movement, become conscious of its purpose. 

But this movement would be a stream without 
sources if the "anonymous" movements indicated 
here with the greatest brevity had not preceded, 
if in the grey morning of time the endless proces 
sion had not begun in which women now nameless 
for us walked at the head, each with an amphora 
upon her shoulder amphorae which they filled 
at any fountain of life. Before these nameless 
women vanished on the horizon, each, like a water 
nymph of antiquity, lowered the brim of her urn 

22 The Woman Movement 

to the earth, which thus was traversed by innum 
erable interlacing rills. And all these even if 
by the most circuitous route have augmented 
by some drops the mighty stream now called the 
woman movement. 



THE history of the woman movement, con 
scious of its purpose, does not fall within the com 
pass of this book. But as foundation for later 
judgments, it is necessary to take a short retro 
spective glance over the essential results which 
the woman movement has attained in the struggle 
for woman s equality with man in the right to 
general culture, professional education, and work. 
as well as in the sphere of family and of civil status. 
These several demands for equality were~voiced, as 
early as 1848, in a powerful and man-indicting 
plea by the American women in their " Declaration 
of Sentiments." But in 1905 the program for 
Germany s "Allgemein Frauenverein," as well as 
many both conservative and radical resolutions 
for women congresses in different countries, show 
how far removed Europe and, in many respects, 
America also, still are from the desires expressed 
in the year 1848. 

If the humble utterance of women, "We can 
with justice demand nothing of life except a work 
and a duty," be conclusive, then life has already 


24 The Woman Movement 

conceded to the demands of woman in rich mea 
sure. The woman movement and the self-interest 
of the employers have made accessible to her a 
number of new fields of labour, without mentioning 
those which fifty years ago were the only ones 
proper for women of the middle class those of 
teacher, lady companion, and "lady s help. " The 
woman movement and man s increasing recogni 
tion of wcman s~rieed of general education and pro- 
fessional qualification have creaTeoTa large number 
5!" educational institutions" ButTSLiegard to- the 
right of work, the acquisitions are but insignificant 
if this right be defined as the opportunity for that 
wgrkwhich one prefers and for which, one is_ 

Women" Have" now, for example, in many countries 
the right to pass the same examinations as men, 
but in many cases not the right to the offices which 
these examinations open to men. The profession 
to which women have found a comparatively easy 
entrance, that of physician, is widely extended 
among women in Europe as well as in America. 
That a dwelling was denied to the first woman 
physician because her profession was considered 
"improper" for a woman, sounds now like a fable. 
Everywhere now are women nurses, teachers of 
gymnastics, dentists, apothecaries, and midwives. 
In America there are even many women ministers 
and it sounds likewise wholly fabulous to say that 
the first of these was literally stoned. Women 
judges also have been appointed in America. In 
Europe there are none to my knowledge and no 

The External Results 25 

women preachers. And yet the woman pastor 
would often be, especially for women and children, 
a better minister than the clergyman ; for them also 
the woman judge might often surpass the man in 
penetration and understanding. The profession 
of law, open to women in many countries, is as yet 
little practised by them in Europe. And yet as 
advocate, police officer, and prison attendant, the 
female official would be of special service for her own 
sex as well as for children and young people of both 
sexes. But in every field where the living reality of 
flesh and blood has to be compressed into legal para 
graphs, mankind must be more or less mistreated. 
And since even masculine jurists of feeling suffer 
under this conviction, the reason for the fact that 
this career, in which woman could be of infinitely 
great service to humanity, has thus far attracted 
her little, may be sought in feminine sensitiveness. 
All the more numerous are the women who have 
devoted themselves to the task most akin to 
motherhood, the profession of teacher. Unfor 
tunately not always the inner call but the prestige 
of the position has determined the choice. Mil 
lions of women are now employed as teachers in 
all possible types of schools, from kindergartens 
to training schools, from infant schools to boys 
colleges. Even in universities, although in Europe 
very rarely it is true, women occupy chairs of 
learning. In the field of popular education, women 
are zealously active as lecturers, librarians, leaders 
of evening classes, and in similar work. 

26 The Woman Movement 

With every decade, woman s powers have 
attained their right more fully and in fields where 
it now seems incredible that men could, and still 
partly do, insist upon getting along without them. 
I refer to the associations and institutions con 
nected with prison supervision and reformatories; 
with schools and children s homes; care of the 
poor and the sick; health and factory inspection. 
Slowly but surely the woman movement has pre 
pared a place here for the mother of society beside 
the father of society who in these domains is often 
very awkward or quite helpless. Alone, or together 
with men, women have organised milk distribu 
tion and creches, housekeeping schools, school 
food -kitchens, people s food-kitchens, people s 
polyclinics, sanitariums and rest-homes, vacation 
colonies, homes for sick and neglected children, 
etc. Many kinds of homes for working women, 
old people s homes, rescue homes, institutions for 
the protection of mothers and children, employ 
ment bureaus, legal redress, and other forms of 
social relief are connected, indirectly if not directly, 
with the woman movement. Great women agi 
tators on their part set thousands of women into 
action, as for example, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 
agitating against negro slavery, Josephine Butler 
against prostitution, Frances Willard against in 
temperance, and Bertha von Suttner against war. 

And yet in spite of the fabulous amount of time, 
strength, and money which the associations and 
organisations thus created have cost in donations 

The External Results 27 

of time and money, this social relief work is only 
the oil and wine of the Samaritan for the wounds 
of society. As long as brigand hands drag mothers 
and children into factories; as long as armies cost 
much more than schools; as long as dwelling con 
ditions in the cities are for many people worse 
than those for domestic animals in the country ; as 
long as alcohol and syphilis brand the new genera 
tion so long woman s devotion remains powerless. 

And this conviction has urged women to trans 
form their social work from an often injudicious 
"Christian" compassion into an organised charity 
in order to anticipate and prevent need and to 
facilitate self-help. But also in this new phase 
of their philanthropic work many women of the 
middle class are arriving at an understanding of 
the necessity of a social reform in accordance with 
socialistic demands. A larger number of women 
join the suffragist movement, less owing to indi 
vidual demands for rights than out of despair over 
the hopeless social work to which their feeling of 
solidarity still impels them. For without suffrage 
(this they experience every day) their work of 
relief is like seed sown in a morass. 

A by-product of the social relief work is that 
many single women have found, in voluntary 
social work, an occupation and often also, in 
remunerative social work, a livelihood; in both 
cases through service in which certain feminine 
qualities can be of value. 

Yes, exactly in the above mentioned fields of 

28 The Woman Movement 

work, which so often bring the modern woman in 
contact with the finest and most delicate as well 
as with the coarsest and hardest sides of life ; which 
place her before conflicts of the most exceptional 
as well as of the most universally human kind 
there woman has nothing new to give except her 
motherliness. That means protecting tenderness, 
gentle patience, glad readiness to help, the interest 
embracing each one in particular, the fine and 
quick vibration in contact with the feelings of 
others which we, in a word, call "tact." If, how 
ever, a woman has not been endowed with mother 
liness, or has none remaining, then she reverts to 
impersonal devotion to duty, hard formalism, dry 
routine; then all the talk about the social signifi 
cance of woman s entrance into the field of medi 
cine or jurisprudence or the ministry or social work 
remains only empty phrases. In all these spheres 
a good man is much more valuable than a hard 
woman. And that woman s hands can be rough, 
woman s eyes cold, woman s soul base or cruel 
this many suffering and crushed, sorrowing and 
sinful, small and defenceless have already experi 
enced. If woman is to keep her superiority as 
the alleviator of the suffering of others, the pro 
tector of others, solicitous for the welfare of others, 
then she must not only acquire certain universal 
human qualities in which man is often superior to 
her; she must also carefully guard and cultivate 
the best capacities which her sex gained in and 
through the hundred thousand years activity as 

The External Results 29 

that half of mankind which created the home and 
reared the children. 

Although the woman movement has multiplied 
and extended the social relief work of woman in 
innumerable directions, still it has not yet opened 
to her the field in which formerly deaconesses, and 
much earlier still nuns, were engaged. But what 
is new as result of the woman movement is that 
more and more single cultured women now devote 
themselves to the occupations of governess, nurse, 
midwife, and kindred callings ; as well as that more 
special training is demanded for these vocations 
to which women turned earlier with downright 
criminal carelessness. 

Simultaneously with the need of the middle- 
class woman for new fields of work, came the 
extraordinarily rapid development of commerce 
and business, which occasioned the need of new 
working forces. Feminine honesty, orderliness, 
and devotion to duty alas, also her modest de 
mands of compensation made the state as well as 
private employers favourably disposed to employ 
women in increasingly greater numbers in the 
different branches of commerce: in the post- 
office, railroads, telegraph, telephone, as also in 
banks, counting houses, agencies or stores, as sec 
retaries, stenographers, and clerks. In cases where 
the wife or daughter was the husband s or father s 
assistant such work then received a personal in 
terest, and what woman s labour in this form can 

30 The Woman Movement 

signify for national wealth can be seen in France 
especially. But as a rule no real joy in work could 
illuminate the days and years of the generation of 
women who in all these vocations have grown gray 
and at best have been pensioned. Nevertheless, 
in these offices one always sees fresh faces bending 
over the desk to fade away in their turn. 

Lack of courage or means often deters the Euro 
pean woman from more independent business 
activity, and this in spite of increasing freedom to 
choose her occupation, in spite of brilliant exam 
ples of successful undertakings of women, in pho 
tography, hotel or boarding-house management, 
dress-making, etc. In America, on the contrary, 
there is no masculine occupation, from that of 
butcher and executioner to real estate speculator 
and stock-exchange gambler that women have not 

But while the women of the older generation 
were thankful if only they succeeded in obtaining 
"a work and a duty," however monotonous and 
wearing it might be, the will of the younger gen 
eration for a pleasurable labour has fortunately 
increased. Partly alone, partly co-operatively, 
women began to venture into the applied arts, 
handwork, farming, or kindred work. And since 
corresponding special training schools quickly 
arise to meet the awakening of the desire for a 
vocation, we can hope for good results for these, 
as yet rare, enterprising spirits. For special edu 
cation is, in our time, the essential condition of 

The External Results 31 

success, especially in agriculture, where the women 
often succeeded without other help than their 
personal efficiency and the "farmer s customary 

Since I know America only at second hand I 
have no claim to a final judgment regarding the 
influence of business life and modern methods of 
production upon the soul life of woman. In the 
women who have succeeded in securing affluence 
through commercial life one finds probably the 
same antichristian effects of this life as among men. 
Recently in America a number of men and women 
endeavoured to live for fourteen days, as Christ 
would have lived. The decision of most of those 
who were engaged in business life was that either 
they must cease to follow in the footsteps of 
Christ or must resign their positions. And since, 
with due consideration for the number of woman 
employers in America, many of these experiences 
must surely have been made under feminine super 
vision, the exp riment does not lack a certain 
significance for the forming of a judgment in 
the direction referred to. 

The zeal of women s rights advocates to open to 
women all of man s fields of labour, and not only 
this but to prove that these fields are as well adap 
ted to woman as man this zeal has unfortunately 
had as result that the woman movement has 
turned the aptitude of many women in a wrong 
direction and has fettered a great amount of 
woman s misused working power to thankless or 

32 The Woman Movement 

galling tasks. But, on the other hand, how the 
woman movement has elevated woman s work, 
since it has raised the standard of qualification in 
many fields and increased the feeling of responsi 
bility in all ! How it has increased the honour of 
work and the capacity for organisation, developed 
the judgment, stimulated the will power, strength 
ened the courage! It has awakened innumerable 
slumbering talents, given freedom of action to in 
numerable shackled powers. And thus it has trans 
formed hosts of women of the upper class, formerly 
the most useless burden of earth, into productive 
members of society, instead of mere consumers; 
made them self-supporting instead of dependent, 
joyful instead of weary of life. 

The woman movement of the lower classes is 
socialistic. It has increased in extent and signi 
ficance in the same measure in which the working 
woman has given up farming, housework, and 
domestic service for industry. 

This woman movement also worked in two di 
rections. The older program reads : Full equality 
of woman with man." In the "state of the fu 
ture" both sexes shall have the same duty of 
work and the same protection of work, while the 
children are reared in state institutions. 

The movement in the other direction purposes 
to win back the wife to the husband, the mother 
to the children, and, thereby, the home to all. 

The External Results 33 

The old or right wing of the middle-class woman 
movement, as well as the older direction of social 
ism just mentioned, still uphold, with arguments 
of the old liberalism, the "individual freedom" of 
the working woman against all protecting "excep 
tional laws." Increasing numbers of the more 
radical that means in this connection more social 
feminists of the upper class, however, stand side 
by side with the less dogmatic trend of socialism 
in its supreme struggle for the protection of the 

In the socialistic woman movement, both ef 
forts for freedom were interwoven that of the 
working men and that of women checked during 
the French Revolution but soon after revived as 
the two great forces of the new century. In this 
intertwining of the woman question with the 
labour question is found the explanation of the 
fact that socialists characterise the woman ques 
tion as an economic question solely ; while in reality 
the woman question, historically, manifestly began 
as an advocacy of the human right and worth of 
woman; and that too before any great industry 
appeared on the horizon. As long as the man was 
the one who, outside the home, was producer and 
provider, and the woman the one who, within the 
home, managed and perfected the raw material, 
no economic woman question could arise, but on 
the other hand exactly a question of woman s 
rights. For, as some writers demonstrated, as 
early as the 1 8th century it was absurd, if woman s 


34 The Woman Movement 

work in the home was so valuable and so faithfully 
performed, that it should not secure in consequence 
corresponding rights. And exactly because the 
middle-class woman movement tried to uphold 
and defend the right and the freedom of women in 
the compass of the old society, this movement 
became, and must still often be, a struggle of 
women against men. The socialistic woman 
movement is on the other hand merely a factor in 
a joint struggle of men and women against the old 
I society and for a new condition. The struggle here 
V cannot be sex against sex, but class against class. 
Each of these woman movements has been partly 
right, each has partly misunderstood the other. 
Only in recent times has a convergence between 
the middle class and the socialistic woman move 
ments been accomplished for the attainment of 
a number of common ends; for example, the 
protection of the mother, mentioned above, and 
especially the franchise. This convergence has 
dissolved the prejudice on both sides. In both 
quarters they begin to understand the power and 
aim of the other movement. 

Socialism and the woman movement are two 
mighty streams which drag along with them great 
parts of the firm formations which they touch. 
But if one wishes to be just toward both, one 
must not forget that in this way new lands are 

The socialistic women on their part, as speakers, 
agitators, journalists, members of special associa- 

The External Results 35 

tions, have stood in rank and file beside the men 
as true comrades, and the middle-class women have 
much to learn from the feeling of solidarity of the 
women socialists. The masculine comrades have 
not always in practice substantiated the principle 
of equality, for even the socialist is first man and 
then comrade; but in theory he has generally sup 
ported it. 

Through socialism, feminism has penetrated 
to the masses. What the middle-class woman 
movement would have needed another century to 
effect, socialism has accomplished in a few decades. 
Nothing shows better than its fear of socialists 
how blindly prejudiced was the right wing of 
middle-class feminism. And nothing so clearly 
elucidates in what stage of feminism the upper- 
class movement was than its obstinate adherence to 
"the principle of personal freedom" in face of the 
atrocious actual conditions which resulted from the 
"freedom of work" of the women factory hands. 

I will here recall only in brief the progress of the 
economic woman movement in the class of factory 
workers. When machines transformed the whole 
method of production and a host of women no 
longer found sufficient occupation in the home, 
while at the same time the possibilities of marriage 
decreased because of the surplus of women and 
also for other reasons, the middle-class women 
looked about them for new fields of labour. The 
great industries in return looked about them for 
more "hands." And since, with the machine, 

36 The Woman Movement 

female hands were quite as serviceable as male 
with a new machine it was possible to replace thirty 
men with one woman and since in addition they 
were cheaper, then began that exodus of women 
from the home into the factory, the results of 
which we are now experiencing. 

When the mother is absent from the home, then 
there is lacking the cohering, supervising, warming 
force, and the home deteriorates and falls to pieces ; 
the children are neglected, the husband suffers; 
the street takes possession of the children, the 
alehouse of the men. Moreover, the women work 
often for starvation wages, whereby less comes into 
the home than is lost by the absence and incapacity 
of the mother. In the middle classes daughters and 
wives, entirely or partly supported in the home, 
could be satisfied with smaller wages and have 
thus become the competitors of men and women 
wholly self-supporting. For the same reason 
wives working in these industries have often 
become the competitors of men, children again 
the competitors of women, and married women 
the competitors of unmarried. 

In woman, so long secluded in the sphere of the 
family, the social feeling of solidarity has been 
very slowly awakened. Therefore, organisation ./ 
which could prevent the competition just meni 
tioned has only in the last decade made great 
progress everywhere among working women. In 
the middle-class vocations this is almost entirely 
lacking. Among the working women slowness of 

The External Results 37 

organisation is natural, for the more wretched 
their position was, the more difficult was it for 
them to organise. But among middle class 
women the reason was partly their individualism, 
partly their anti-socialism, partly the lack of feel 
ing of solidarity just referred to. 

Home work for profit and pleasure in one s own 
family or in service of the applied arts has become 
a means for the "sweat system," the facts of which 
belong to the darkest side of modern working life. 
These facts alone would be sufficient to prove that 
working women have little to gain from the luxury 
of the rich, an assertion with which luxury often 
vindicates itself. There is still for the women 
working at home as well as for the women working 
in the factory, beside their professional work, also 
the duty of caring for the children and managing 
the home. However insufficient this may be yet 
it still claims a great part of their already meagre 
leisure ; and the more tender and conscientious the 
mothers are, the more they wear themselves out, 
and the sooner must society, after night-watching, 
lack of light and hunger have ruined them, main 
tain them as infirm or paupers. The life of these 
women passed in the factory often from childhood 
has made them moreover, generation after genera 
tion, more unfitted for household work. What 
does it profit to attempt to remedy the evil by 
housekeeping schools and instruction in the care of 
children? For where time and strength are lack 
ing the home has lost its right. 

38 The Woman Movement 

What can be expected of women who three or 
four days after confinement must again stand at 
the machine, who are compelled to leave their 
children behind them, shut in at home, exposed to 
all conceivable accidents? What can be expected 
of mothers, who have become mothers against their 
will, mothers of children, who because of the 
conditions of their parents work have become 
scrofulous, rickety, idiotic children who contract 
degeneration of the liver because the harassed, 
ignorant mother quieted them with brandy, ill- 
treated them, herself a physical and psychic ruin 
who spreads destruction about her! 

The feminists are accustomed to rage over the 
custom which formerly condemned the Indian 
widows to be burned upon the funeral pyre a 
custom which is only an innocent sport in com 
parison with the woman slavery which Europe 
has even brought to a system and which the woman 
movement long ignored. 

To these general facts, which apply also to 
women employed in hard agricultural labour, 
there is also added an entirely new series of evils 
associated with occupations dangerous to health 
for example those in which lead, quicksilver, phos 
phorus or tobacco poison the workers, 1 or those 
branches of work where inhaling dust at the weav 
ing loom or in spinning, breathing gas and coal 
smoke, exposed to heat, smoke and damp, they 

1 Next to the textile industry, the tobacco industry employs 
the most women. 

The External Results 39 

contract tuberculosis and other diseases; to say 
nothing of the physical and moral misery in which 
miners and stevedors live. But the worst begins 
only when the women are to become mothers. 
Either the embryo is killed by an abortion, inten 
tional or caused by the occupation ; or it comes into 
the world dead or sick or crippled ; or it dies in the 
first weeks or wastes away under artificial nourish 
ment in England for example only one out of 
eight children is nursed. The mothers either can 
not or will not. Next to the labour conditions, 
alcohol plays the greatest part in this indirect 
massacre of infants. 

If one turns from the women engaged in indus 
trial work to the servant class, then female drudg 
ery reaches perhaps its height among the girls 
employed in bars, cafes, and similar establishments. 
What physical and psychic results this work 
entails can be divined from the fact that, in Eng 
land, half of all women suicides are such waitresses 
under 30 years of age. That family servant girls 
are allowed to sleep in closets and to work far 
beyond the present customary factory time; that 
in the class of saleswomen, especially in cigar 
shops, the longest working hours together with 
the most paltry starvation wages are found all 
this, as every one knows, is the fundamental reason 
why the path is so short from all these occupations 
to the lowest to prostitution. The servant girl 
corrupted by the master of the house, the half- 
starved, overworked shop girl, the night- watching 

40 The Woman Movement 

cigar worker, and many, many others are found here 
as sacrifices of a shameless exploitation. Herewith 
we stand before that "woman question" in which 
both elementary instincts have united for that 
captivity of woman from which the woman move 
ment has found no means of emancipation ; against 
which the means sought in these and other quarters 
prove fruitless. For only a radical transformation 
of society and sexual ethics can here provide a 

Every one in face of these facts, touched upon 
thus superficially, must be astounded that women 
could oppose laws for the protection of women. 
Fortunately these progress-impeding emancipation 
women had no influence when, in England and 
other countries, certain night work began to be 
prohibited to women, their working hours limited, 
certain employments barred out, and a time of rest 
assured to the woman recently confined. Still 
very small steps only, but in the right direction. 
At the same time the organisation of working 
women advances so that by labour unions and 
strikes here and there they have succeeded in en 
forcing better wages, shorter working hours, and 
better labour conditions. And so long as the 
woman movement of the upper classes has no 
solidarity with that of the lower, the female factory 
inspector can accomplish very little, as a result of 
the fear of the working women to give facts and 

The External Results 41 

the adroitness of the employers in veiling these. 
But if women of the upper class begin to compete 
with the slave-driving, sweat-system employers 
through well-organised co-operative enterprises, 
especially for the revival of artistic handwork, 
whereby a profitable work is made for mothers 
at home under good working conditions; and if 
they boycott all shops where the working hours 
of the women exceed the due measure, while their 
wages are below the standard; then the woman 
movement would be able to hasten certain re 
forms in the field of industry, just as so many 
mistresses of girls private schools have hastened 
the reform of public schools: they simply availed 
themselves of the improvements arising from 
feminine initiative. 

The married woman as family provider beside 
the man, often also in place of the man, but always 
however subservient to the man s dominion this is 
the worst form of woman slavery our time has 
created. The woman movement purposes indeed 
to make the wife "of age," in every respect, and 
free from the husband s guardianship. But within 
the woman movement all are not yet entirely 
agreed that the work of the mother outside the home 
in and for itself is an evil. Attempts are indeed 
being made to alter the conditions which are most 
to blame for the deterioration of mothers and 
children. But a large faction in the woman move- 

42 The Woman Movement 

ment wishes still, as was said, to cling to the 
immediately remunerative work of the mother and 
remedy the resulting lack of home by social insti 
tutions for care of children, housekeeping, etc. 

On this side, the following arguments are heard : 
woman becomes free only when she can wholly sup 
port herself and can devote herself to her work 
unhampered by duties toward husband and child 
ren; only through the reciprocal social obligation 
of work and the complete individual freedom of 
both sexes can the present conflicts between the 
labour of man and woman, between individual 
happiness and the common weal, finally cease. 

Like every canalisation or drainage of the 
mighty river system of the life of human feeling, 
this program is direct and conclusive. One may 
easily understand that masculine brains, domi 
nated by a passion for logic, could devise it; but if 
we hear it advocated by multitudes of women, 
then we recognise how harassed by the fourfold 
burden of family provider, child bearer, child edu 
cator, and housekeeper the poor women must 
be who can smilingly assent to the foregoing 
picture of the future. 

And yet there is another possible ideal of the 
future which can be realised as soon as production 
is determined, no longer by private capitalistic 
interests, but by social-political interests. Women 
will then be employed in industrial fields of work 
where their powers are as productive as possible 
with the least possible loss in time and strength; 

The External Results 43 

above all in those fields where the work requires 
no long preparation and the dexterity does not 
suffer by interruptions. Before the years in which 
the occupation is motherhood, and after these years, 
woman can still be always remunerated by an 
economic wage; during the years on the contrary 
in which motherhood is the vocation, she can be 
remunerated by the state. It is only necessary that 
women and men will a new order whereby in the 
future we attain the following conditions : 

A Society, in which the welfare of the new gene 
ration is the centre to which all social-political 
plans, at heart, are aiming. 

Children born of parents whose souls and bodies 
are qualified and prepared for a worthy parenthood 
and who can thus create for their children sound 
and beautiful conditions of life. 

Mothers won back to the husbands, the children, 
the homes, but under such circumstances that as 
free human personalities they perform the most 
important work of society: the bearing and rear 
ing of children. 

Fathers with time and leisure to share with the 
mothers the task of education and to share with 
them and the children the joys of the home life, as 
well as of the remainder of existence. 

This ideal of the future state takes in my imagi 
nation the form of a varied Italian garden with 
a wide outlook upon the great sea. The other 
ideal of the future, on the contrary, is to me like 
a coal mine wherein all spiritual and social 

44 The Woman Movement 

vegetation is petrified so that it now serves only 
as motive-power for machines. 

Nothing more effectively proves how rife with 
reactions and for that reason how hidden is 
the power of development, than to realise that the 
unorganized, inorganic socialistic ideal of the 
future, just mentioned, is the logical sequence of 
the woman movement if one draws the extreme 
conclusion from its fundamental idea the right 
of woman to individual, free development of her 
powers. It is consistent historically that in 
America, where the movement for the right and 
freedom of woman has been most widely successful, 
many middle-class women have resolutely drawn 
these extreme conclusions of emancipation. Quite 
as psychologically logical is it, that at a time when 
the uncomplicated soul life and life demands of the 
masses still form the most important factors in 
the shaping of the ideal of the future, the social 
istic women, from their different point of view, 
have arrived at like ideals. But fortunately there 
are in women, as in the masses, still great tracts 
of "new ground" where new soul conditions will 
germinate, and in due time, new ideals will flower. 
Groups of men can at times forget mankind in 
dwelling upon themselves. But mankind in its 
entirety has never yet lost the instinct for the con 
ditions of self-preservation and the higher develop 
ment of the race. I will come back later to the 

The External Results 45 

psychological phase of the question. I touch upon 
it here only as the social program of the future. 

A new field which the woman movement has 
opened up to woman is the scientific field. For 
the fact that as early as the Renaissance some 
Italian women occupied chairs of academic instruc 
tion, that in the I7th and i8th centuries some 
women devoted themselves seriously to classic 
studies or the exact sciences all that was only 
exceptional. And the women who since the begin 
ning of the woman movement have distinguished 
themselves by great services in science are still 
exceptional. But in many places, sometimes as 
assistants of their husbands or of other men, 
women now perform good scientific work in dif 
ferent lines. Many women are also active in the 
sphere of invention, without a single woman s 
name having been thus far connected with an 
epoch -making invention. 

Especially where constructive ability is neces 
sary, women have as yet not been eminent; they 
have created neither a philosophical system nor a 
new religion, neither a great musical work nor a 
monumental building, neither a classic drama nor 
an epic. On the other hand, the exact sciences, 
which would be considered a priori as little 
adapted to women, for example mathematics, 
astronomy, and physics, are exactly those in 
which thus far they have most distinguished 

46 The Woman Movement 

themselves. This contains a warning against 
too precipitate conclusions about the intellectual 
life of woman. Not until several generations of 
women with the same privileges of education 
as man, with the same encouragement from home 
and society have exercised their faculty for dis 
covery and their inventive and creative faculties 
can we really know whether the present inferiority 
of woman in this respect is a provision of nature 
or not ; whether her genius was only hampered in 
its expression or whether, as I believe, it is ordi 
narily of a different kind from that of man. 

In art there are several fields which the woman 
movement did not need to open for the first time 
to woman: dramatic art, music, and the dance. 
Indirectly, however, the woman movement has 
transformed the position of women occupied in 
these lines by increasing the respect for all good 
work of woman and raising the requirements 
for woman s education in general. The woman 
movement has also exercised an immediate influ 
ence upon certain artists of the present time. 
Thus Eleanora Duse said to me that her most 
cherished desire has been to represent and inter 
pret the new types of women, although the drama 
tists of to-day have rarely given her the material 
she desired wherewith to create characters by which 
she could reveal the soul of the new woman and 
elevate man s, as well as woman s own, ideal of 

In the dance, women have been, especially in 

The External Results 47 

America, creative in connection with its forms and 
have been thereby also revelations of the new 
spiritual life of woman which has found expression 
in these forms. Great women singers, through 
Wagner s operas and ballad-singing, have given 
voice to the primeval yearning of the woman soul, 
as that yearning now assumes form in the new 
woman. And in interpretations at the hands of 
great pianists or violinists, not one classic musical 
work failed to furnish similar revelations. 

The very finest effects of the woman move 
ment mere shades of feeling which cannot be 
enumerated nor discussed have reached our 
present time through lines, movement, rhythm, 
cadence, through the timbre of a voice, the gest 
ure of a hand, the glance of an eye, the tone of 
a violin. And these effects have been secured 
without any disturbance of the receptivity by 
strife over the precedence of woman or of man. 
In other spheres, susceptibility to the effects of art 
creations by woman is still often dulled by this 
strife. In the above named fields, long before the 
beginning of the woman movement, conscious of 
its purpose, women without arguments have con 
vinced the world of the complete equality of 
woman with man. And all these women, con 
quering through beauty in one form or another, 
have done more for the woman movement than it 
has done for them. Certainly the woman move 
ment both directly and indirectly has had its share 
in opening to women musical as well as other art 

48 The Woman Movement 

academies and schools of applied arts, but 
academies have a doubtful value and the smaller 
the value, the more gifted the student. The new 
right has thus become dangerous to the inde 
pendence of real gifts and, with all possibilities 
of education thus opened wide, there comes a 
temptation for fancied talents to pass beyond 
their bounds. This danger, as far as the plastic 
arts are concerned, has found more and more its 
counterpoise in the schools of applied art, by 
which many women have been directed to the 
decorative professions, from house and garden 
architecture to fashion designing and holiday 

But in the field of the applied arts, as well as of 
the plastic arts and of music, the facility afforded 
by the modern conditions of training and of public 
careers has instigated many women, who before 
had exercised their little talent only for the pleas 
ure of the home or society circles, to exhibit and 
appear publicly to the detriment both of the home 
circles and, alas, also of art! 

The works of art by women, which humanity 
could not lose without really becoming poorer, 
have been created, thus far, neither in the sphere 
of music nor of plastic art; they all belong to lit 
erature. And this sphere the woman movement 
has not opened to woman; ever since the days of 
Sappho and of Corinna, women have attained fame 
as writers. 

In letters and memoirs not originally designed 

The External Results 49 

for publication, next to that in the field of romance 
and the novel, occasionally also in the lyric, the 
feminine character has found thus far its fullest 
and finest expression. In all these fields women 
have produced works which have been placed by 
men, not it is true beside the greatest works of 
masculine genius in the same domain, yet beside 
eminent works of men. As intermediary of the 
works of others, woman has not in our time, as in the 
period of enlightenment or in the circle of Goethe, 
her greatest significance through conversations and 
letters but through the printing-press. The mod 
ern woman, however, as essayist and biographer, as 
translator and collector, is a valuable intermediary 
of culture. She is also unfortunately a menace to 
culture, not so much because of the inferior works 
which she produces, for these, like the similar works 
of men, soon sink into oblivion. The real danger 
lies in the fact that women in great multitudes 
increase the number of those journalists who lack 
intellectual as well as ethical culture, which should 
be an imperative condition in that field of work. 
But this profession is now, on the contrary, the one 
into which the amateur may most easily force 
an entrance without special training and without 
professional reputation. The result is that men 
and women who lack both can pull down, in their 
journals, the real work and essential character of 
serious people, without the remotest conception 
or the faintest comprehension of either. On the 
other hand these cliques of coffee-house people 

5O The Woman Movement 

crown one another as kings and queens for a day ! 
The press-breed carries on in leaflets its flirtation as 
well as its vengeance. The knife which the child 
of nature thrusts into a rival s breast is now trans 
formed into the pen with which the reviewer stabs 
a competitor s latest work. In a word women 
now furnish to the Press work, occasionally excel 
lent, frequently mediocre, all too often worthless- 
Their womanly characteristics make it feasible 
more frequently for them than for men to adopt 
more completely the rituals of the temple service 
of the deity of the Press the Public. This 
"womanliness" evinces itself, especially, in the 
ability "to grip the fleeting moment by its flut 
tering locks" and also to anticipate when that 
moment s locks are false and so the grasp prove 

While hosts of women have turned to journal 
ism, they are seldom found in the fields to which 
the woman movement should have directed them : 
in the field of sociological and psychological 
research. Nearly all significant works upon the 
normal, the abnormal, the criminal psychic life 
of children, young people and women have been 
written by men. They have unfortunately treated 
the feminine spiritual life in "scientific" works 
also, in which the author dares speak of "woman" 
even though he knows nothing of her except what 
his own happy or unhappy experiences in a mother 
or sister, wife or sweetheart, have taught him. 

The slight title of men to their "scientific 

The External Results 51 

method" when they venture upon the terra incog 
nita which the soul of woman still is for them, 
explains why they extol, as "scientific," works of 
women about women which are quite as superficial 
as those of men themselves. With a few excep 
tions, it is not the physiological-psychological 
books written by women about women which have 
really taught the present something new about 
womankind in general and the new woman in 
particular. No, in the form of romances, of lyrics 
or in voluntary confessions, woman has contri 
buted the most valuable documents about her sex : 
on the one hand those which indicate the trans 
formations which the woman movement has occa 
sioned in woman s nature, on the other hand those 
which demonstrate the extent to which her fun 
damental nature has remained unchanged, even 
though this elementary material exhibits many 
more facets in the modern woman than in the 
woman of any previous time; facets resulting from 
the manifold contacts and frictions with life to 
which woman now exposes herself or is exposed. 

From a literary point of view, these books of 
confession have seldom a value which could be 
compared with that of the, in outer sense, objec 
tive, classic works which talented women writers 
of the present have produced. Often, however, one 
of these confessions, in which the writer has can 
didly given her own history, has been of real lit 
erary value. But even when the works contain 
mendacities and self-extenuations, crass injustice 

52 The Woman Movement 

toward men or toward other women, as revelations 
of the modern woman soul they are more valuable 
for the future than the clarified, artistically perfect 
works of women, mentioned above. For the truth 
about woman in the century of the woman is found 
only in the impassioned books in which the hard 
struggles for freedom, work, right, or fame are 
recited; or in those works impassioned in another 
way, in which the soul or the blood or both cry out 
their yearning, ever unappeased, in spite of free 
dom and work, right and fame. What we may 
to-day rightly protest against in these books is 
their recklessness which may in the future be re 
garded as their greatest value. 

Because, up to the present time, the most exqui 
site as well as the most horrifying women charac 
ters in literature have been created by men, many 
men think that they understand women better 
than women do themselves. And to this extent 
men are right that women attain their most sub 
lime heights and reach their deepest degradation 
in and through love. But aside from that, women 
have a much clearer insight and, for that reason, 
a much more intelligent idea of one another than 
man has of woman. When accordingly a woman 
speaks not only of herself but also of another wom 
an sometimes also of children we feel already 
that "the eternal feminine" (das Ewig-Weib- 
liche) in literature can create a feminine art, in 
the best meaning of the word. For the present 
we hope, and with good reason, that art as well as 

The External Results 53 

science will not appear as either masculine or femi 
nine but reveal a complete human personality. 
But this does not mean that this personality has 
fused the masculine and feminine qualities into a 
common humanity and thus enervated it. No, it 
means that, in such a being, masculine and femi 
nine traits exist side by side and assert themselves 
alternately or harmoniously in all their strength. 
In the rank of talent, one may find feminine men 
and masculine women; in that of genius, never. 
There each one guards fully and completely the 
character of his own sex in addition to the finest 
attributes of the other sex. The distinctively 
masculine or distinctively feminine attributes 
characterising an earlier culture epoch are on the 
contrary often lacking in these greatest men and 
women of their time. In other words they lack 
exactly those attributes, hyper-masculine or hyper- 
feminine, by which men and women, not abreast 
of the times in their development, please each 
other and the masses, in literature as well as in 

In the woman-literature, directly evoked by the 
woman movement, we can read the whole gamut 
of the feminine nature, from the feminine in the 
highest sense to the feminine in the worst sense. 
This literature shows how unthinkingly and de 
fenceless certain women have plunged into the 
struggle, how rationally and well equipped other 
women have fought it out. The impartiality 
of this judgment can be proven by the admission 

54 The Woman Movement 

that in the first-named class I have not infrequently 
found adherents; in the latter class, opponents. 

The woman movement itself, partly in lectures 
and in literary activity, partly by means of office- 
routine and work of organisation, has become a 
new field of labour for women. Even in this field 
it is found that many are called but few are chosen. 
But when except after defeat was an army 
ever seen without baggage? 

In the field of family right, the woman movement 
has achieved, directly and indirectly, great im 
provements in the legal position of the unmar 
ried woman. The nearest proof is my own coun 
try. This has, within a period of from seventy to 
eighty years, granted to the sister the same right of 
inheritance as to the brother ; declared the unmar 
ried woman at her majority at the same age as 
man, a majority which was also expanded later 
through the suspension of the right of guardian 
ship on the part of the husband, existing for 
married women. The marriageable age of woman 
was postponed to 17 years. Gradually woman 
has been placed on an equality with man to carry 
on trade and industry; she has acquired the right 
to hold certain public offices, although many still 
remain closed to her. The married woman on the 
contrary is still always a minor; if no marriage 
settlement is made the husband has the right to 
dispose of the wife s property; he has control of 

The External Results 55 

their common possessions; he can restrict her 
freedom of work ; he has authority over the child 
ren. A few small progressive steps may never 
theless be pointed out: certain reinforcements of 
the effectiveness of the marriage contract; the 
right to her wages accorded to the wife; certain 
reforms in regard to the division of property and 
divorce; some improvements in the position of 
children born out of wedlock. In other countries 
also like reforms have been accomplished, directly, 
through masculine initiative; indirectly, through 
the influence of the woman movement. But 
everywhere family right is still founded upon the 
principles of paternal right, supremacy of the 
husband over the wife, indissolubility of marriage 
or solubility under greater or less difficulties. 

In regard to citizenship I draw my examples also 
from the land I know best. In Sweden, women 
have long since participated in the choice of pastor ; 
for about fifty years they have possessed municipal 
franchise ; later in certain cases they have attained 
also municipal eligibility, for example, to the 
school board, board of charities, and now finally 
to the town council. Still others could be cited. 
In other countries women have sometimes more 
sometimes less civic right ; only in a few countries 
have they won political franchise; in a single one, 
Finland, also political eligibility. 

In the sphere of family right, as well as civic 
right, the woman movement has then much more 
remaining to conquer than it has thus far won. 

56 The Woman Movement 

But I am convinced that the little girls I see down 
below in the garden playing "mother and child" 
will possess all the rights due the wife, the mother, 
and the citizen. 

The woman movement, in its present form, has 
accomplished its task if it has procured for every 
woman the legal right to develop and practise her 
individual characteristics unhindered because of 
her sex. But after this emancipation of the 
woman as a human being and a citizen, there 
remains her emancipation as a woman. And here 
no transformation of forms of thought and feeling, 
of manners and customs, attainable by any legal 
provisions or paragraphs, avail. The present 
woman movement has created and still continues 
to create the social conditions for this last emanci 
pation. But it will not approve such far extend 
ing results of its own work. It desires the same 
rights but also the same duties for all women. If a 
single woman uses the freedom, which the woman 
movement has procured for her as a member of 
society, to fashion her individual life according to 
the deepest demands of her being, then the old 
guard trembles before the outcome of the battle 
for freedom in which it fought so valiantly. 

But nothing is more certain than that the femi 
nine personality, whether her innermost desire be 
spiritual creative instinct, erotic happiness, mater 
nal bliss, or universal human goodness, will acquire 
ever new forms of expression: forms of expression 
which the once liberal, now more conservative f em- 

The External Results 57 

inists and the modern socialistic feminists partly 
do not divine and partly divining deplore ! For 
the present even the "emancipated" woman fol 
lows as a rule the paths which social custom has 
marked out for her sex, as well as the cultural ideas 
which have been, thus far, those of man. But if, 
in the coming thousand years, a feminine culture 
shall really supplement the masculine, then this 
will be exactly in the measure in which women 
have the courage to create and to act as most 
feminists now do not even dare think. Then it 
will be evident that all social movements of the 
present time, especially the woman movement and 
socialism, are only the work of the path finder for 
the masculine and feminine superman or, if you 
prefer the older expression, complete man. 

Like other "old guards," the veterans of femi 
nism will not surrender but will fall upon the field 
of battle. The little girls there below will one day 
celebrate their memory. For through their strug 
gles the way became free for youth, the way which 
leads out to the wide sea where perhaps shipwreck 
awaits the one who ventures out into the darkness 
with her fragile skiff. But many will brave the 
voyage and bide their fate, strong, proud, and 
composed as the maiden in Schwind s Wasserfahrt 
that splendid symbol of the woman of the future. 



IF I now start out to consider the woman-soul 
as it has developed itself under the influence of all 
the circumstances mentioned above, perhaps many 
will expect a theory about the character of the 
feminine soul life. But, at present, when the 
greatest problems of psychology are in revolution 
and undecided, such a theory would be as scien 
tifically impossible as aphorisms are unanswera 
ble. Likewise, conclusions, based upon experience, 
concerning the psychic peculiarity of woman would 
be in this chaotic transition period, superficial, if 
they attempted to be absolute. Only one decided 
opinion about the spiritual life of woman I cannot 
in consequence of my monistic-evolutionary 
conception of the spiritual and physical life 
refrain from expressing. This opinion is that, in 
the one hundred thousand years at least in which 
woman has practised the physical maternal func 
tions, the spiritual attributes essential for mother 
hood must have been so strongly developed by 
her that this development has had, and still has 
always, as a result a pronounced difference be- 


The Inner Results 59 

tween the feminine and masculine soul that 
is to say, everywhere where the soul, as well as 
the body of a woman, is adapted and desirous of 
motherhood a fitness and readiness which can 
still be called the normal condition. The spiritual 
qualities which maternity required have become 
the attributes of "womanliness," the qualities 
which paternity required, have become the attri 
butes of manliness. This difference has become 
quite as significant for the functional fitness of 
both sexes for the perpetuation and development 
of the race, as for the wealth of life of each new 
generation. The obliteration or retention of this 
difference is therefore a vital question for mankind. 

Figuratively expressed, this seems to me the 
process: from a common root of universal human 
spiritual life issue two stems which can again unite 
in their blossoming. The ramification has neces 
sarily involved a division of labour in two equally 
important spheres. From this point of view I 
give, in the following, my opinion of the value of 
the influence of the woman movement upon the 
spiritual life of woman. 

We all know that life expresses itself as move 
ment, that movement brings with it change, 
transformation; that this can mean quite as well 
disintegration as higher organisation. 

The woman movement is the most significant of 
all movements for freedom in the world s history. 
The question whether this movement leads man 
kind in a higher or lower direction is the most 

60 The Woman Movement 

serious question of the time. Those who assert 
unconditionally the former or the latter have 
uttered a premature judgment. The question 
must be formulated thus: 

(a) Has the woman movement brought to man 
kind a higher degree of vital force, a greater faculty 
for self-preservation, a more complete organisa 
tion, by which the more simple forms have become 
more finely complex, the more uniform have 
become richer, more diverse; the incoherent have 
attained a more perfect unity? Or has the woman 
movement called forth an activity which represses 
life? degrades, scatters, and reduces the powers to 
uniformity, in society and in mankind? 

(b) Is woman s spiritual life now in general above 
the level at which it was in the beginning of the 
woman movement? Have modern women finer 
perceptions, deeper feelings, clearer ideas, a firmer 
will, richer association of ideas? Do their spiritual 
faculties so work together that they mutually 
enhance instead of hinder one another? In a 
word is the modern woman more soulful than the 
woman of any other time? 

(c) Is the body of the modern woman, at all 
stages of life, stronger, more healthy, and more 
beautiful than that of the woman of the previous 
century, when the woman movement began in 
real earnest in Europe? 

(d) Does the modern woman perform in more 
perfect manner than the woman of that time, the 
physical and psychic functions of motherhood? 

The Inner Results 61 

If the question be put thus then the objec 
tive investigator must answer to all " Yes and 

But if this investigator is an evolutionist, then 
he knows that the progress of every social evolution 
is like that which womankind is now experiencing. 
We see first, how, in any given sphere of society, 
where those engaged therein have attained a pure, 
instinctive certainty in their actions through laws 
and customs, the individuals oppressed by these 
laws and customs must rebel against the limits, 
drawn from without, for the development and 
exercise of their powers. This revolt occasions at 
first a stage of anarchy in which everything seems 
to collapse while in the previous conserving epoch 
"crystallisation" furnished the vital danger! But 
after such an anarchistic stage there comes infal 
libly the constructive stage, where a part of the old 
is organised, incorporated, into the new. But this 
acts no longer as instinctive impulse. No, man 
kind has become conscious anew of these values 
of law and custom; they have been recognised by 
the thought, encompassed by feeling, sanctioned 
by the will as still always indispensable, in another 
and higher form it is true than that against which 
the individuals rebelled. But just as the leaves 
which once grew green above in the summer light, 
gradually become one with the earth, so the motives 
of the new customs sink gradually down into the 
unknown; man acts again with instinctive cer 
tainty and uniformity until the new period of 

62 The Woman Movement 

stagnation evokes a new rebellion and achieve 
ment of individualism. 

The woman movement finds itself now at a 
point where it is about to pass from the dynamic 
stage to a static stage. Exactly at this point a 
survey begins to be possible ; and it is also necessary 
for every one who believes that the ideal, as well as 
the practical direction of the woman movement, 
in future, must be influenced by the knowledge 
gained about the effect of the movement, thus far, 
upon the uplifting of the life of mankind. 

Every great achievement of individualism is as 
inconsiderate as the spring tide and must be, in 
order to have strength for its task. The woman 
movement was so also. But it encountered two 
other great ideas of the time, Socialism and Evolu 
tionism, and in consequence the woman movement 
was obliged to modify gradually its conception of 
the feminine individual and of her position in 

On the one hand, as has been already shown, 
man has had to understand that "open competi 
tion" and "individual initiative" are not abso 
lute political-economic truths. On the other 
hand, the defender of women s rights has been 
forced to understand more and more that woman s 
soul is no unchangeable value which must remain 
the same however much the spheres have changed 
toward which this spiritual life directed itself and 
from which it received its impression. While 
feminists fifty years ago scorned the objection 

The Inner Results 63 

that "womanliness" would be lost in business life 
or in politics, now the evolutionist mind in think 
ing women understands that all human soul life 
is subject to the law of change ; that just as indis 
putably as the soul life of man is changed by 
different vocations and surroundings, so that of 
woman also must be changed. The feminists 
founded their dogma that the woman movement 
can only benefit woman, man, the child, the family, 
society, mankind upon the conviction of the 
stability of "true womanliness." 

And if the woman movement had not had this 
religious certainty of belief, how could it have 
withstood the mass of prejudice and stupidity 
which it encountered in its own, as well as in the 
other sex? The woman movement has conquered 
because it was self -intoxicated. 

And quite naturally ! After a stability of cent 
uries, during which the position of woman was 
altered only in and with the general progress of 
culture, women finally recognised that they could 
accelerate their own progress and with it also the 
somewhat snail-like course of universal human 
culture. And so woman asserted herself and 
increased her motion. The faster this move 
ment became, the more was she seized by the 
intoxication which always accompanies every 
vigorous physical or psychic movement. And 
when has a movement of the time advanced more 

Folk-migrations, crusades, slave rebellions, revo- 

64 The Woman Movement 

lutions have led a race, a class, a group, beyond 
certain geographical or social boundaries. The 
emancipation of women has shifted and extended 
the limits of the freedom of movement of half 
mankind. No wonder that the extent of the move 
ment in and for itself was advanced as proof of the 
infallibility of its direction. All points of depart 
ure, the natural right of man, individual freedom, 
social necessity all led out into the sun, which, 
in society as in nature, should radiate over woman 
as well as over man ; they led up onto the summit 
where man and woman both should breathe the 
air of the heights. All obstacles which were raised 
with the help of arguments such as, "the nature 
of woman," "the welfare of the family," "the idea 
of society," "the purpose of God" all proved 
temporary. And of necessity for the innermost 
law of life, the law of development, of life enhance 
ment, carried the movement forward. When it 
began, the Biblical expression about the wind was 
quoted, "Man knows not whence it comes nor 
whither it goes." Now all know it. Now the 
spirit of the time speaks with "feminist" voice. 
The ideas of emancipation "are in the air," like 
bacilli, by which only savages are thus far wholly 

There are now no great movements of the time 
whose path does not run parallel with or cut across 
the woman movement. Every new generation is 
involuntarily and unconsciously drawn along with 
it. The ends already attained seem to the present 

The Inner Results 65 

age obvious ; the ends, for which man is still strug 
gling to-day, will appear equally obvious to the 
future. The woman movement is now a power 
with which even its most bitter adversaries must 
reckon. And this force has so quickly attained 
prominence exactly as a result of fanaticism. Just 
as the White and the Blue Nile mingle their waters 
in the main stream, so in every great current of 
time enthusiasm is mingled with fanaticism. And 
it is the latter which bears the most fruit, for 
it gives power of growth to the passions of the 
majority, good as well as bad. 

Every great idea begins with great promulgators. 
The promulgator who has the spirit does not hold 
to the letter. And the woman movement which 
was spirit began also with women and men who did 
not follow the call of the spirit of the time ; no, who 
from lonely heights sent out their awakening call 
to the time. Men who give their age new ideals 
have always religious natures. This means, ac 
cording to a good definition, that they are "in 
dividualists in their being, social in their action." 

Such natures burn, above all, with the passion 
to find themselves. Then they burn with the 
passion to sacrifice themselves in order to help 
others, whose suffering or wrongs they feel as 
deeply as if they were their own. No one who 
passively endures an injustice against himself has 
the material in him to struggle for the rights of 
others. The one who patiently forbears becomes 
an accessory to the injustice done to others. He 

66 The Woman Movement 

who resists the injustice which he himself meets 
can open up the way to a higher right for others. 
Such path-finders were the first apostles of the 
emancipation of women. They consecrated to 
this task a faith which required no proof, a faith 
which saw visions and heard melodies of the glori 
ous future that their victory would prepare for 
mankind. They emanated neither from scientific 
investigations, nor from systems of political eco 
nomy, nor from philosophic evidence, nor theories 
of political science. They flung themselves into 
the struggle with inadequate weapons, without 
plan of campaign, just as do all impelled by the 
spirit. But such a method always evokes later 
dissension among the disciples. Sects are formed, 
gradually a church is crystallised, an orthodoxy, a 
papacy, and an inquisition. This course is physi 
cally necessary as long as mankind is still in 
greatest part a mass. A Paul more "Christian" 
than Christ and a Luther more "Paulist" than 
Paul are met also in the woman movement. 

This has now, among most people of culture, 
passed beyond the stage of the great apostles and 
martyrs and heralds. The movement has reached 
the point where certain typical manifestations, 
certain conventional forms testify that the masses 
which stoned the prophets- have now, since the 
ideas of the woman movement have become 
truisms, banalities, the fashion, appropriated them 
to themselves and endeavour to transform them to 
their image and adapt them to their needs. 

The Inner Results 67 

Again and again the old tale repeats itself: the 
trolls steal the weapons of the gods but they can 
not use them. Again and again there is occasion 
to deplore the fact that the autocrat of genius, 
whether he rule over a people or a kingdom of 
ideas, has heirs, heirs who diminish his work. 
Again and again it must be recognised that no 
spiritual formation vanishes at one blow. The 
servile mind, intrigue, pettiness, delusion all 
that, from which the great spirits of the woman 
movement hoped to "emancipate" woman could 
not suddenly vanish out of the world. And since 
all this must go somewhere it finally finds room 
in the woman movement itself! 

But on the other side since after all everything 
has another side it must be admitted that the 
levelling and conserving tendency of the average 
person is of real value at the stage when an idea 
begins to be transformed into law and custom. 

Those who can work only in crowds receive 
their significance exactly because of their collective 
work. They push aside the "individual emanci 
pation " which they do not need for their own part, 
since they have no individuality to emancipate. 
But by diligent and efficient work they succeed in 
securing certain results, which are the common 
cause of all. So the Philistines make for them 
selves a footstool of that which was a stumbling- 
block for their congenial souls in the previous 
generation. From this height they look down 
upon the new truth of their time. And those who 

68 The Woman Movement 

perceive and uphold this new truth turn aside from 
the great uniformed army which now advances 
safely where the little vanguard has previously 
and laboriously opened up the way. Those who 
turn aside will form the new vanguard when it 
comes to achieving, in the spirit of the first apostle, 
the emancipation not only of women in the mass, 
but of each individual woman. When the present 
work of the woman movement for joint, common 
ends shall no longer be necessary, because one end 
after another has been attained, then comes the 
task of the present radical feminism : the accom 
plishment of "emancipation" by leading it up to 
those free heights which already the path finders 
are endeavouring to attain, the heights where every 
feminine individuality can choose her own path of 
life, perhaps at variance with all others ; can choose 
it in freedom, answerable only to her own con 
science. Although this summary grouping his 
torically as well as psychologically corresponds 
approximately to the past, present, and future of 
the woman movement, yet there are so many 
ramifications of the three groups into one another, 
that the woman movement now exhibits a tangled 
confusion in which every exact demarcation is 

Whoever lives to witness it will see the course 
of progress just described for which the modern 
labour movement offers quite as good material 
for observation as the woman movement repeat 
itself in the next great emancipation movement. 

The Inner Results 69 

I mean the movement for the right and freedom of 
the child, which will be the unconditional result 
of the victory of the woman and labour move 
ments. This idea is still in the morning-clear 
hour of inspiration. But from the cry, "Away 
with the child destroying home training," we can 
hear that the troop of Philistines will appear by 
afternoon upon the scene, to adopt the idea into 
their midst! 

By means of the comparison with socialism, I 
have endeavoured to emphasise that the woman 
movement s formation of dogmas and its doctrin- 
ary fanaticism are not effects of the peculiarity of 
the feminine mind. These phenomena are typical 
of every movement of the time thus far observed. 
They are essential above all because a new belief 
without dogma and without ritual is for the masses 
a sword without a hilt: it offers nothing tangible, 
nothing whereby the masses can come into relation 
with the idea. 

That certain feminists still believe that the 
woman movement has advanced just as the exodus 
of the Children of Israel out of the land of bondage, 
that is to say, under God s special protection 
against wandering astray; that they stigmatise as 
"treason" and "defection" the assertion that this 
movement was determined by the same psycho 
logical and sociological laws as every other move 
ment for freedom this shows to how high a degree 
many leaders of the woman movement lack 
elementary psychological and sociological concep- 

70 The Woman Movement 

tions. This deficiency is, however, being contin 
ually remedied. And in the generation which 
now advances, dogmatic fanaticism has well nigh 
vanished, but pure enthusiasm is preserved. 

We can thus expect from this generation a 
clearer understanding of the necessary social 
repressions which the woman movement has now 
sufficient strength to impose upon itself without 
forfeiting thereby its character of a movement for 
freedom. As such it cannot and dare not cease 
until it has attained all its ends. As long as the 
law treats women as one race, men as another, 
there is a woman question. Not until man and 
woman, equal and united, work together for 
mankind will the woman movement belong to 
the past. 



THE following comparisons between the life of 
women, especially their spiritual life of about 
fifty years ago and their life as it has shaped itself 
under the influence of the woman movement, have 
been arranged in descending scale. They begin 
with that phase of women s life in which this 
influence was most favourable from the point of 
view of life enhancement, namely with the life 
of unmarried women. 

You will find to-day, among women seventy 
or eighty years of age, one or another type of 
that fine culture which the gifted single woman, 
in comfortable circumstances, could attain in the 
previous century. Her home, especially if it was 
an estate in the country, became a cultural fireside 
which radiated light and heat for relatives and 
friends. The lesser gifted disseminated, each 
according to her nature, comfort or discomfort, 
yet could in extremity at least be sure of the 
homage of their future heirs. Toward those 
dependent upon them, these women were some- 


72 The Woman Movement 

times kind, sometimes indifferent, sometimes hard: 
the feeling of social responsibility was an unknown 
idea to them. The penniless single women, on the 
contrary, were found either in one of the "re 
spectable" positions which, however, brought with 
them a multitude of humiliations: as governess, 
companion, housekeeper in Germany also as 
maid of honour at one of the numerous small 
courts or in some charitable institution for gentle 
folks, an asylum for pauvres honteuses; but 
most frequently in the corner of the home of a 
relative. This corner was at times the warmest 
and most confidential in the whole house, that 
corner which the children sought for stories and 
sweetmeats; the youth, to find an embrace in 
which he could pour forth his grief, an ear which 
listened to his most beautiful dreams. But it 
happened more frequently that the "aunt" looked 
upon as a "necessary evil " was in reality that very 
thing. Humiliated and embittered, she became 
ingenious in making those about her suffer for her 
afflictions. Before they became hopelessly old, 
the "aunts" were the laughing stock of the young 
through their efforts, in the eleventh hour, to 
reach the "peaceful haven of matrimony"; and 
they themselves looked with envious eyes upon 
the good fortune of the young. We meet the 
unmarried woman of that time at her best as 
trusty servant who shared the cares, the joys, and 
the sorrows of the family and, in her garret cham 
ber, of which she could be certain to the day of 

Influence upon Single Women 73 

her death, she looked back upon a rich life lived 
vicariously. Not infrequently, she rejected a 
marriage proposal in order to stay with her beloved 
master and mistress to whom she knew she was 
indispensable. The superfluous women previously 
mentioned would have thrown themselves into 
the arms of Beelzebub had he come as suitor. 
When the years passed, when neither their desire 
for activity nor the thirst of the heart nor of the 
senses was quenched, then not infrequently insan 
ity conjured up for these lonely women a life con 
tent for which they had longed in vain. To-day, 
however, we have for the position which the 
expression, "a forsaken old maid," betokens an 
entirely new type: "the glorified spinster," as the 
joyous, active, independent unmarried woman is 
called by the people among whom she first became 
a reality. Among these women, independent 
through their work, useful to society, that older 
type is still occasionally found perhaps, a survival 
of the time when emancipation was rather gen 
erally interpreted as freedom for masculinity. 
The "man- woman" in masculine attire, with 
weapons of defence against man in one hand and 
a cigarette in the other, her soul filled with mad 
ambition for her own sex and, as representative of 
her entire sex, with hatred toward the other, was 
however always rare. Now, she has almost 
entirely vanished, except alas, the cigarette. 
But she smokes it now often with masculine 
friends ! She follows in her mode of life, as in her 


dress, the law of good taste not to offend; she 
endeavours, if only with a flower or two, to give a 
glimmer of cosy comfort to her place of work. 
This comfort, which often comes into the public 
life with woman is perhaps the reason why many 
men, who first looked with indignation upon femi 
nine fellow- workmen, would now miss them. The 
more personal the culture of these women becomes, 
the more they endeavour, according to their time 
and means, to express their personality in the 
lines and colours of their dress and in the arrange 
ment of their room. Those best situated often 
succeed, toward the end of their working days, 
in winning their own little home which they per 
haps share with a friend, or they join a co-operative 
enterprise and can thus raise their standard of 
living. The same women who, at twenty-five, 
scornfully declared that they "would never bury 
their head in a sauce-pan," are now, at fifty, con 
sciously aware of the significance of the table for 
the activity of the brain; indeed they are now 
quite as proud if they have prepared a good dish 
as they were in their youth when they passed a 
fine examination! 

It is not to be wondered at that the emanci 
pated women, exactly as all recently emancipated 
masculine classes and races, at first groped inse 
curely after a new form. The astonishing thing, 
on the contrary, is that women adapted themselves 
so quickly to the new circumstances; that the 
transition period furnished so few grotesque types ; 

Influence upon Single Women 75 

that the present shows so many harmonious types, 
each in her own way. This harmony of single 
women is no mere form. It has its inner counter 
part in the satisfaction with their existence, an 
existence in accord with their desires. The psy 
chology was not exhaustive which saw in feminism 
only a "spinster question," a question of the 
unmarried woman, springing from the surplus of 
women and the increasing difficulty or disinclina 
tion of men to contract marriage a question 
therefore for the ugly, not for the beautiful; for 
the unmarried, not for the married; for the poor, 
not for the rich. For a great number of beautiful 
women prefer to remain unmarried; a great num 
ber of rich desire to work; a great number of 
married women are zealous suffragists. Fifty 
years ago, we saw the most clever women idealise 
an ape into a god; now, the modern, intelligent 
working girl, when she looks about her for her 
ideal, exercises a lively criticism. She often flirts 
with one who exhibits some phase of the ideal, 
but she has too clear an understanding and too 
much to do to imagine a great feeling for one who 
is unworthy. So it often happens that youth has 
passed without such a feeling having stirred her. 
And she enters without deep regret the age when 
ambition and desire for power become her life 
stimulants. From these women of predominating 
mind and will is formed more and more what 
Ferrero calls "The third sex," Maudsley, "The 
sexless ant": energetic, clever, happy in their 

76 The Woman Movement 

work, cool, but sound; in private life, in the zeal 
of everyday work, often egoistic but willing to 
make sacrifices in face of social exigencies. 

So a great part of the fifty -year-old women form 
an exception since they with true instinct have 
remained unmarried. For in the same degree 
that their metallic being is well adapted to the 
machinery of society, it is little qualified to make 
a home for husband and children. They do not 
depreciate however the value of this task, unless 
they be fanatic feminists. In that event they 
reproach the women who wish to marry with 
"betraying the woman cause"; they demand at 
times, as imperative loyalty toward this cause, 
that their friends shall protest against the present 
marriage laws at least by the form of their marriage 
alliance if not even by not marrying at all. Their 
theory of equality has at times been carried so far 
that as recently happened in France they advo 
cate women s performing also masculine military 

But in spite of their aridity and inflexibility of 
principle how much more human are even these 
feminists than the " ill-natured " aunts of earlier 
times who became ill-natured exactly because their 
temperament was of the kind mentioned above, 
but who could find no sphere of operation for their 
passionate longing for activity. One or another 
was perhaps burning with ambition. For there 
are women as well as men who can live only as 
pagan gods, in the blaze and perfume of sacrificial 

Influence upon Single Women 77 

fires. In their youth these ambitious natures 
could be satisfied by triumphs in social life. But 
later the passion became a fire in a powder cask and 
occasioned incessant explosions. Now it is the 
electric motive power for an activity of general 
utility. The "aunts" of the earlier time who felt 
themselves always overlooked and injured are most 
easily recognised again in the literary and artistic 
field to which daily bread or ambition now urges 
many women, who endeavour to compensate by 
energetic work for the talent which nature denied 
them. Since these women are ordinarily not 
people of understanding but of feeling, they must 
in a double sense be dissatisfied with a life which in 
addition is, in most cases, still filled with economic 
cares and the humiliations arising therefrom. And 
yet in spite of all, how much richer is their life 
to-day than it would have been fifty years ago 
when they would have been obliged to sit and 
draw their needles through interminable pieces 
of handwork, after ugly patterns and for unneces 
sary uses, or to compose sentimental birthday 
verses for persons whom they abominated. 

Yet there are always those women natures who, 
in the past, had the qualifications for a real "dear 
aunt," who gently calmed the conflicts and filled 
the gaps in the home of which they had become 
members. The most tender and sensitive of these 
modern women, who, rain or shine, year in year 
out, hasten to and from a work indifferent to them 
at heart, not infrequently breathe a sigh of longing 

78 The Woman Movement 

for those times when, as "aunts," they could have 
received and imparted warmth in a home. But 
then again there come moments when they know 
how to value the independence which puts them 
in a position to give help where otherwise there 
would be none; when for example they can send 
a nephew to college, or a friend to a sanatarium, or 
provide their mother with a nurse, which they 
themselves can not be. 

This kind of single woman fulfills more or less 
the office of family provider just as she also is 
always ready with word and deed in circles of 
friends and comrades. These women are so 
engrossed that the time of love, sometimes love 
itself, passes them by without their observing it. 
Their youth flees and they feel with sadness that 
their woman s life is unlived. But they persuade 
themselves that they have had enough in their 
work, that many little joys can take the place of 
great happiness. And they believe this as truly 
as the infant believes he is satisfied when he sucks 
his own thumb. But some of these women 
acknowledge perhaps, when they have passed the 
fifties, that they were often tempted to call out 
to the first best man, "Give me a child." Some 
times it happens that in their last youth they 
appease their mother longing by adopting a foster 
child; sometimes they still this longing by a child 
of their own, from a love relation or a marriage. 
This late and uncertain happiness is often made 
possible exactly through their work. And then, 

Influence upon Single Women 79 

if not earlier, they bless this work which gives 
them the economic possibility, and thereby also 
the courage, for this hazardous adventure. 

More frequent than these are the cases however 
where single women, who have passed their first 
youth, find in friendship for another woman a 
valve for their, in great part, unused feelings. In 
some natures this friendship will be jealous and 
exacting, in others true and devoted. I wish to 
emphasise that I speak here of entirely natural 
spiritual conditions. There is to-day much talk 
about "Sapphic" women; and it is even possible 
that they exist in that impure form which men 
imagine. I have never met them, presumably 
because we rarely meet in life those with whom no 
fibre of our being has any affinity. But I have 
often observed that the spiritually refined women 
of our time, just as formerly the spiritually refined 
men of Hellas, find most easily in their own sex 
the qualities which set their spiritual life in the 
finest vibration of admiration, inspiration, sym 
pathy and adoration. 

The fundamental types of single women depicted 
here the person of intellect and the person of 
feeling are found everywhere. The former 
according to current opinion already predominate 
in America; in Europe, it seems to me, the latter 
still prevail. That the main classes include in 
numerable varieties, it is needless to say. There 
are for example the numerous, quite ordinary, 

80 The Woman Movement 

family girls who would be happy if they could give 
up their independence in order to enjoy the pro 
tection of their parents or their own home. And 
the same obtains also with the quite as ancient 
type of woman, Undine, who soulless and cold 
enslaves all men. If she is in any civic vocation, 
she knows how to get the smallest amount of work 
for herself and, in case she is engaged in the artistic 
field, the best possible criticism. Conscience is 
an acquaintance which she has never made and she 
is also of the opinion that everything agreeable is 
permitted to her; she simply slides past anything 
disagreeable. Although work belongs to these 
disagreeable things, she continues it until she has 
found means to place her "qualities" in the most 
advantageous manner upon the matrimonial 

The diametrical antithesis of this curvilinear 
type is the rectilinear. It has, just as the pre 
ceding type, existed at all times. It is the woman 
who really never demanded anything of life but 
"a work and a duty" and finds both in abundance 
in all positions of life. She is found year in year 
out at her desk, in appropriate working garb, free 
from all assthetics; proud "if she never has 
needed to miss a day"; proud that she never has 
come late. On the contrary she never goes on 
time. For she has so grown into the business or 
the office that she takes everything upon herself 
that is required without murmuring, as a well -dis 
ciplined soldier in the ranks of the grey working 

Influence upon Single Women 81 

army; thankful, in addition, if her long working 
cares yield her a little life annuity or pension for 
her old age. This type is found principally among 
women over fifty fortunately. For this class of 
women which the pre-feministic circumstances 
created, have, by their "frugality" carried almost 
to the verge of criminality, by their humble, con 
scientious servitude, lowered the wages of their 
colleagues who are more full of life. These latter 
have begun work in the hope that it finally will 
"free" them; that is, will give them something of 
that for which their innermost being longs, not 
only their daily bread a bread which sickness or 
a turn of affairs moreover can take from them at 
any time. And perhaps they never succeed even 
in having their own room where they at least could 
have repose! Underpaid, overworked, tired to 
death, who can wonder if these women have lost, 
if they ever possessed them, the essential charac 
teristics of "womanhood " active kindness, repose 
even in movement, charming gentleness? The 
Icelandic poet of yore already knew that "Few 
become fair through wounds." These women 
must put all their strength into their work and into 
the effort to conceal their underpayment by 
"respectable" clothing, or else lose their positions. 
In everything else they must economise to the 
utmost and perhaps in addition be laughed at 
because of their economy. They succeed, often 
admirably, in maintaining themselves in proud 
fair struggle, in rejecting "erotic" perquisites to 

82 The Woman Movement 

add to their income and in fulfilling conscientiously 
the requirements of their work. Yet to do this 
with lively interest, with preserved spiritual elas 
ticity, with quiet amiability for this their strength 
does not suffice, exhausted by insufficient nourish 
ment, insufficient sleep, still more insufficient re 
creation, and strained daily to the utmost. Their 
nervousness finds vent in either hard or hysterical 
expression and the public, annoyed by their ill- 
humour, divines little of the tragedies enacted in 
offices, business houses, cafes or similar places. 
If a suicide concludes the tragedy, the public 
shudders for a moment and all goes on as before. 

Thus "emancipation" presents itself in reality 
for millions of women. To what extent the middle- 
class woman movement is indirectly to blame for 
this fact has already been emphasised. 

The essential reason is however the prevailing 
economic condition of society. By the uninter 
rupted fever of competition and the accumulation 
of riches, it dries up the soul and robs it of goodness 
as well as of joy. When the great, beautiful, 
eternal sources of joy are exhausted, the life 
stimulus is sought in exclusively physical pleasures, 
which are always made more exciting in order to 
be able to arouse still, in the languid nervous sys 
tem, feelings of desire. Moreover, there is the 
neurosis and weariness of life of the overworked, 
of those continually quaking about their material 
safety, of those who could be revived by the noble 
and simple joys of life, to which those jaded with 

Influence upon Single Women 83 

riches are already not susceptible ; but for all these 
millions and millions such joys are not accessible 
because hunger for profit depresses wages. If in 
addition to that we take into account the increasing 
suffering of the best because of the ever devel 
oping feeling of solidarity; and if finally we con 
sider that women, who through the protection of 
the home could preserve something of warmth- 
irradiating energy, are now in increasing numbers 
driven out of the home, then we have some of the 
reasons which in higher degree than the religious 
and philosophic reasons which also exist con 
tribute to the joylessness of our time. 

A contribution to the meagre stock of good for 
tune of the present time is furnished however by 
the joy of life among young girls working under 
favourable conditions. Among them we meet a 
new soul condition, which could be designated, as 
briefly as possible, as covetousness of everything 
which can promote their personal development and 
a beautiful liberality with what is thus won. 
They can gratify their energetic desire for 
self-development by sport, travel, books, art and 
other means of culture; their freedom of action 
between working hours is not restricted by private 
duties. They can utilise their leisure time and 
their income as they please: for recreation, plea 
sure, social intercourse, social work or private, 
charitable activity. No father nor husband 
encroaches upon their free agency. And so dear 

84 The Woman Movement 

does this liberty become to them through the mani 
fold joys which it furnishes, that these young girls, 
in constantly increasing numbers, refuse to relin 
quish their individual independence for the sake 
of a marriage which, even presupposing the hap 
piest love, always means a restriction of the free 
dom of movement that they enjoyed while single. 
And since the modern woman knows that, in the 
sphere of spiritual values, nothing can be attained 
without sacrifice, she prefers to keep free agency 
and to sacrifice love. If she chooses in the oppo 
site direction, the task of adaptation will be the 
more difficult, the longer and the more intensely 
she has enjoyed freedom. The modern young 
girl, if she deigns to bestow her hand upon a man, 
not infrequently has her pretty head so crammed 
full of principles of equality that she sometimes 
(frequently in America) , by written contract estab 
lishes her independence to the smallest detail, 
which sometimes includes separate apartments 
and the prohibition that either of the contracting 
parties shall have the key to the apartment of the 

There are many varieties of the new type of 
woman. There is for instance the torn-boy, the 
"gamin," who for her life cannot give up the 
right to mad pranks and mischievous jokes. There 
is the girl consumed with ambition, who sacrifices 
all other values in order to attain the goal of her 
ambition in art or science. There is the fanati 
cally altruistic girl, who considers the work for 

Influence upon Single Women 85 

mankind so important that she feels she has not the 
right to an "egoistic" love happiness. There is 
the ascetic ethereal girl, who looks upon marriage 
and child-bearing as animal functions, unworthy 
of a spiritual being, but above all as unbeautifuL 
And for many of these modern, aesthetically 
refined, nervously sensitive young girls the aes 
thetic point of view is decisive. All love the work 
which permits them to live according to their 
ideals. Still it often happens that Ovidian meta 
morphoses take place : that the young girl sees the 
cloud or the swan transformed into a god, upon 
whose altar she sacrifices, with joy, her free agency 
and everything else which only a few weeks 
earlier she cherished as her holy of holies. The men 
who view this process with a smile, think that the 
anti-erotic ideals were only a new weapon of 
defence in the eternal war between the sexes. But 
these men often learn how mistaken they were 
when they themselves become participators in the 
war. They meet women so proud, so sensitive 
regarding their independence, so merciless in their 
strength, so easily wounded in their instincts, so 
zealous to devote themselves to their personal 
task, so determined to preserve their freedom, that 
erotic harmony seldom can be realised. Yes, these 
women often repudiate Ipve only because it 
becomes a bond to their freedom, a hindrance to 
their work, a force for the bending of their will to 
another s will. 

The women, womanly in their innermost depths, 

86 The Woman Movement 

who really feel free only when they give themselves 
wholly, are becoming continually more rare. But 
where such a wholly devoted woman still exists, 
she is the highest type of woman which any period 
has produced. Especially if she springs from a 
family of old culture. She has then, combined in 
her personality, the best of tradition and the best of 
the revolution evoked by the woman movement. 
The fibres of her being absorb their nourishment 
with instinctive certainty out of the fruitful soil 
which pride, devotion to duty, family love, require 
ments of culture and refinement of form, for many 
generations, have created. But her conscious soul- 
life flowers in the sun of the present; she thinks 
new thoughts and has new aims. Just as little as 
she disavows her desire for love, so little does she 
desire love under other conditions than those of 
spiritual unity and human equality. If she meets 
the man who can give her this and if she loves him, 
then he can be more certain than the man of any 
other time that he is really loved, that no ulterior 
motive obscures the devotion of this free woman. 
He has seen her susceptible to all the riches of life ; 
has seen her assist in social tasks, perform the duty 
of every day joyful in her work, proud of her 
independence attained through her work. He 
knows that just as she is she would have continued 
to be if he had not entered into her life. How 
different is this girl from the one of earlier times, 
who was driven by the emptiness of her life into 
continual love affairs, which could not lead to a 

Influence upon Single Women 87 

marriage nor exist in a marriage that possessed 
nothing of love! 

This most beautiful new type of woman ap 
proaches spiritually the aforementioned type of 
single, aged women, who because of their econ 
omic independence found time for a fine personal 
culture. These followed not infrequently in 
their youth, from a distance it is true, but with 
joyous sympathy, the progress of the woman 
movement. They shook their heads later over 
its extremes. With new joy they regard the 
young girls just described, in whom they find a 
more universal development than in themselves, 
because these young girls have been developed 
through active consumption of power which was 
spared to the older women, although they must 
have summoned much passive energy in order 
to maintain their personality against conven 
tion. The young girls find often in these older 
women a fine understanding, which they richly 
reciprocate. Such terms of friendship are the 
most beautiful which the present has to offer: 
they resemble the meeting of the morning and 
evening red in the bright midsummer nights of 
the North. 

No time could have been so rich in exquisite fem 
inine personalities, at all ages and in all stages of 
life, as ours. We must not draw our conclusions 
regarding the abundance of such women, in the 
older culture epochs, from the illustrious names of 
women which incessantly recur in the pictures of 

88 The Woman Movement 

the earlier times like stage soldiers until they 
give the illusion of a great host. 

But exquisite women are even to-day excep 
tional. The Martha type rather than the Mary 
type predominates. This is due on one hand to 
decreasing piety, on the other hand to the kind of 
working and society life. Fifty years ago single 
women were often spiritually petrified, now more 
often they cannot succeed in settling into any 
form. Their existence, turned outwardly, widens 
their sphere of interest but makes their soul-life 
shallow. Restlessness is most unfavourable to 
the "development of the personality," which was 
however the goal of the emancipation of woman. 
This development is delayed mo t of all perhaps by 
the lack of personal contact with other personali 
ties, of immediate, intimate human connections. 
This can, from no point of view, be supplied by 
the society or club life in which single women are 
to-day absorbed. 



As late as sixty or seventy years ago, the daugh 
ters of good families had still few points of contact 
with life outside the four walls of the home. From 
the hands of nurse-maids they went into those of 
the governess, and after confirmation, studies were 
at an end. If it was a cultured home then reading 
aloud or music was often practised, whereby it is 
true no "specific education" qualifying them for 
examinations was attained, but frequently a fine 
universal human culture. There was always 
employment in the house for the zeal for work. 
The great presses were filled with linen which was 
not infrequently spun and woven by the daughters ; 
in the autumn they assembled for sausage-making 
and candle dipping; later, for Christmas baking 
and roasting ; in summer endless rows of glasses of 
preserves were set in the store-room. Before 
Christmas, night after night, Christmas presents 
were made; after Christmas, night after night, they 
danced. At these balls those in outer respects 
uncomely, received a foretaste of that waiting 
which must fill their life for many long years: 


90 The Woman Movement 

would the invitation to the dance or the wooing 
respectively come or not? Every man whose 
shadow merely fell upon the scene, was immedi 
ately considered from the point of view of a suitor. 
As the years went by the girl, who before twenty- 
five years of age was considered an "old maid," 
saw how the glance of the father and the brothers 
became gloomy, yes, she could even hear how 
"unfortunate" she was. If such a daughter lived 
in a home poor in books and most of them were 
then she could not even procure a book she wished. 
For the daughters worked year in year out without 
wages, in case they did not receive meagrely doled 
out pin-money which only through great ingenuity 
sufficed for their toilette. All year long there were 
christenings and birthday celebrations ; in summer 
games were played, where it was possible riding 
parties arranged, in winter sleighing parties were 
organised. Other physical exercise was considered 
superfluous. The young girls were averse to going 
to a neighbouring estate if it lay a mile away ; and 
during the week to take a long walk for pleasure 
or sit down with a book, which had been borrowed, 
would be considered simply as idling away one s 
time. In summer a cold bath was permissible a 
warm bath was used only in cases of sickness but 
swimming was considered so unwomanly, that 
whoever had learned it must keep it secret. Row 
ing, tobogganing and skating were, even if per 
mitted in the country, yet half in discredit as 

Influence upon the Daughters 91 

When grandfather related an heroic deed of some 
ancestress whose proud countenance shone out 
among the family portraits, then the daughter of 
such a family must have asked herself why this 
deed was lauded while everything "manly" was 
forbidden her. 

The days and years went by at the embroidery 
frame or netting needles, amid continuous chatter 
about the family and neighbours, amid eternal 
friction and in disputing back and forth over mere 
trifles. The confined nervous force sought an 
outlet, and in an existence where each one 
according to the first paragraph of family rights 
interfered in the greatest as in the smallest con 
cerns of all the others, there was always plenty of 
material about which to become irritated and 

In the country, life was, however, fuller and 
fresher than in the city where the young girl had 
less to do and never dared go out alone ; yes, where 
a walk was considered so superfluous, that the 
mother of the great Swedish feminist Fredrika 
Bremer advised her daughters to jump up and 
down behind a chair when they insisted that they 
needed exercise! 

The relation to the parents, even if the principle 
of unswerving and mute obedience was not wholly 
carried out, was ordinarily a reverential alienation. 
Neither side knew the inner life of the other. The 
temperament of the mother determined the every- 

92 The Woman Movement 

day domestic comforts, the will of the father the 
external occurrences of life, from the trip to the ball 
to marriage. The daughter whose inclination cor 
responded with the will of the father considered 
herself fortunate. The one married against her 
will wept, but obeyed. As an almost fabulous 
occurrence it was related of one or another girl 
that she dared to say "No" before the marriage 
altar; cases were not unusual in which daughters 
received a box on the ear and were confined to their 
room until they accepted the bridegroom whom 
the father had chosen. Even if a mother, moved 
by the recollections of her own youth, attempted 
to support a daughter it rarely succeeded. For the 
power of the father rested quite as heavily upon 
the wife. But the worst however was to water 
myrtle year after year, without ever being able to 
cut it for a bridal wreath. Even she, who in her 
heart loved another, found it therefore often wisest 
to give her consent to an acceptable suitor. Only 
the one whose dowry was valued at a "ton of gold " 
or who also was a celebrated beauty could run 
the risk of declining a courtship ; yes, she could per 
mit herself to occasion it only to decline it. The 
more suitors she could recount, the prouder she 
was; such a beauty even embroidered around her 
bridal gown the monograms of all her earlier wooers. 
The unmarried remained behind in an environ 
ment where the idea prevailed that "woman s 
politics are her toilettes, her republic is her house 
hold and literature belongs to her trinkets." The 

Influence upon the Daughters 93 

talented daughter sewed the fine starched shirts in 
which her stupid brother went to the academy and 
sighed therewith: "Ah, if one only were a man." 

When the income of the house was small, she 
increased it perhaps by embroidery, sold in deepest 
secrecy; for it was a disgrace for a girl of good 
family to work for money. For her rebellious 
thoughts she had perhaps a girl friend to whom 
she could pour out her heart or a sister. But it 
often fared with sisters growing old together, just 
as it must fare with North -pole explorers wintering 
together, that those holding together of necessity 
finally loathe one another from the bottom of their 
hearts. And yet the sisters were most fortunate 
who could grow old and die in their childhood 
home and were not compelled to become old house 
hold fixtures in the home of relatives. 

Not infrequently this last fate was their portion 
because a father, a brother or a guardian out of 
personal, economical self-interest prevented their 
marriage, or a brother through debt or studies had 
defrauded them of their inheritance. 

It was not the woman movement but the reli 
gious movement, beginning among the Northern 
peoples almost simultaneously with it, called in 
Sweden "Laseri" ("Reading") that was the first 
spiritual emancipation for the old or young unmar 
ried girls likewise for w r ives who longed for a 
deeper content. Because they took seriously the 
Bible doctrine that one should disregard the com 
mands of the family in order to follow Christ, the 

94 The Woman Movement 

home gradually became accustomed to one of the 
feminine members going her own way. Often 
amid great struggles. For the "Reader" was 
more or less considered as insane; the father was 
ashamed of her, the mother mourned over her, 
the brothers laughed at her. But nothing could 
hinder those strong in their faith from following 
the inner voice. And so these women, without 
knowing it themselves, were a bridge to that eman 
cipation of women to which they themselves later 
Bible in hand were often an obstacle. 

The movement could not however be prevented. 
And now how is it now in the family? Already 
the ten-year-old talks about what she is sometime 
going to be. Now, the sisters go with the brothers 
to school or to the academy and share their intel 
lectual interests as well as their life of sport. Now, 
the fathers and mothers sit at home often alone, 
for the daughters belong to that host of self-sup 
porting girls who can gratify the parents by short 
visits only. Alas, these visits are not always an 
unclouded joy. There are collisions between the 
old and the young often over seeming bagatelles. 
But a feather shows which way the wind blows 
and the parents observe that, in the spiritual being 
of the daughter, the wind blows from an entirely 
different direction from theirs. The daughter, on 
the other hand, thinks that perfect calm prevails 
in the being of her parents ; she wishes to raise the 
dust. The mother pleads her cause in dry and 

Influence upon the Daughters 95 

offended manner, the daughter in superior and 
impetuous words. Accustomed to her freedom, 
she encounters again at home control over her 
commissions and omissions, attempts upon her 
privacy from which she had been freed by leaving 
home. And they separate again each with a sigh 
that they "have had so little of one another." In 
other cases when the parents have followed the 
times and the daughters understand that not only 
children but also parents must be educated with 
tenderness then the visits to the parents home 
become on both sides elevating episodes in their 
lives. The daughters repose in the parental ten 
derness, which they have only now learned to value 
when they compare it with their customary loneli 
ness. The parents confide to the daughter their 
cares which she sometimes can effectively lighten, 
and they revive with her spiritual interests which 
they themselves had to lay aside. Through her 
own working life the daughter has gained an 
entirely new respect for her parents. Through 
her independence of parental authority she has 
now gained a frankness, which makes a real inter 
change of ideas possible. They discover that they 
can have something reciprocal for one another. 
The father, who perhaps at first sighed when the 
young faces vanished out of the home, now admits 
that it would have been foolish if the whole troop 
of girls had continued here at home and so had 
stood there at his demise, empty-handed, without 
professional training. The mother, who had 

96 The Woman Movement 

helped them persuade the father, smiles, when he 
insists that he would not exchange his capable 
girls for boys." And he is not at all afraid that 
the daughters could not marry if they would; he 
remembered indeed how his contemporaries de 
clared that they would never look at a girl student, 
a Blue stocking," and yet so many of these were 
now happily married to girl students. 

Beside these results of the independence of the 
daughters which elevate life for all sides, there are 
opposite cases; when, for example, a single daugh 
ter without outer economic compulsion or inner 
personal necessity, impelled only by the current of 
the time, leaves a home where her contribution of 
work could be significant, in order to follow a voca 
tion outside. The results are often of doubtful 
value, not only from a social point of view but also 
from that of the family and herself, when the 
daughter remains at home but carries on a work 
outside. This comes partly because they are con 
tented with less pay and thus lower the wages of 
those who support themselves entirely; partly 
because they over-exert themselves. In those 
cases where several daughters can share with one 
another the domestic duties, no over-exertion 
results perhaps. But when a single daughter com 
bines an exacting professional work with quite as 
exacting household duties, then she is exhausted 
by her double task; then she feels the burden, not 
the joy, of work. For all professional working 
girls who remain at home, have moreover in addi- 

Influence upon the Daughters 97 

tion, even under the most favorable circumstances, 
the spiritual strain of turning from work back again 
to the gregarious demands of the home, as well as 
to the many different attractions and repulsions, 
antipathies and sympathies which determine the 
deviations in temperature of the home; the strain 
of respecting the sensibilities which must be spared 
or of paying attention to the domestic demands 
which must be refused, if the work is not to suffer 
from lack of rest and time for preparation. All 
this can be so nerve racking that the young girl is 
seized with an irresistible longing for a little home 
of her own, where she would be mistress of her 
leisure time, and could see her own friends not 
alone those of her family, where she could join 
those who held the same views, where she, in a 
word, would live her life according to the dictates 
of her personal demands. If she can, she often 
does this. For to-day young girls live to apply the 
principle of the woman movement individualism. 
The older women s rights advocates desired, it is 
true, that woman should be allowed to "develop 
her gifts," but she should "administer" them for 
the benefit of others ; they desired that she should 
receive new rights from law and custom, but that 
she should seek always in law and custom support and 
security for her action. The young women s rights 
advocates, on the other hand, believe that their own 
growth, just as that of animals and trees, is intend 
ed above all for self -development, that in their 
own character the direction for their growth is 

98 The Woman Movement 

specified, and that they have not the right to con 
fine themselves by circumstances or subject them 
selves to influences by which they know they 
hinder the development of their powers, according 
to their individual natures. The more refined the 
feeling of personality becomes, the more exactly 
these young people understand how to choose 
what is essential for them and to repudiate what 
is a hindrance. But before they attain this cer 
tainty they evince often an unnecessary lack of 
consideration, and the family is often right when 
it speaks of the egoism of youth. They find no 
opportunity for helping father or mother nor for 
participation in the elders interests. The whole 
family is rarely assembled even at meal-time; the 
daughters as well as the sons rush off to lectures, 
work, sport, clubs. The mother who sees how 
occupied the daughters are has not the heart to add 
to their work or to thwart them in their pleasures ; 
thus she allows the selfishness of the young crea 
tures to increase to the point where she herself 
in indignation begins seasonably and unseason 
ably to react against it. The young girl answers 
her mother s reproof then with the complaint that, 
"Mamma does not understand" her and that 
she is "behind her time." Especially the young 
examination-champions distinguish themselves by 
their arrogance in the family as in the club, 
where they look down upon the older ladies who 
have not passed examinations just as they do upon 
their own mother. 

Influence upon the Daughters 99 

It fares best in the families, and they are even 
now numerous, where the mother herself has 
studied or worked outside the home and therefore 
knows what domestic services she may or may not 
require; where she herself personally understands 
the intellectual occupation of the young people 
and has preserved her own youthfulness, so that 
she becomes not infrequently the real friend of her 
daughters and sons. If the mother, on the con 
trary, was one of the many who, at the beginning 
of the woman movement, sacrificed her own talent 
to the wishes of her family or the demands of the 
home, in spite of the possibilities for its develop 
ment made accessible to her at that time, then 
she has often absolutely no comprehension of the 
egoism of her daughter. She herself had acted 
so entirely differently! Or she understands fully 
that in her daughters as well as in her sons she 
views the attainment of a new conception of life, 
with all its Storm and Stress, which the spring 
times in the life of mankind bring with them an 
attainment in which, to her sorrow, she could not 
take part in her youth. 

At such spring-times youth is not, as the parents 
hoped, sunlight and the twittering of birds in the 
home; but March storms and April clouds. The 
parents feel themselves at first swept out, super 
fluous, disillusioned. They are angered but reju 
venated, thanks to all the new points of view that 
youth makes valid. Yes, father and mother some 
times could live through a second youth if their 

ioo The Woman Movement 

own contemporaries did not depress their buoy 
ancy by their disapproving astonishment and the 
children by their cool rejection of the comradeship 
of their parents. But in spite of this two-fold 
opposition, there are now fathers and mothers 
who are able to enjoy the riches of life quite as 
youthfully as and more deeply than their children ; 
while the parents of earlier times, especially the 
mother, forever stagnated as early as forty. More 
and more frequently we find mothers who, like 
their daughters, lead a spiritually rich and emo 
tional life, who have so preserved their physical 
youthfulness and who possess moreover through 
experience and self-culture so refined a soul-life, 
that, in regard to the impression they make, they 
are not infrequently the rivals of their daughters. 
They are already revelations of that type of woman 
which, in token of emancipation, has found the 
equilibrium between the old devoted ideal and the 
new self-assertive ideal. They view life from a 
height which gives them a survey also over the 
essential, in questions concerning their own child 
ren. Even if these become something other than 
the mothers wish, these mothers are so penetrated 
with the idea of individualism that they let the 
children follow their own course. 

Modern fathers rarely find so happy a home as 
it once could be with a bevy of daughters always 
at hand. But they find the home richer in con 
tent, often also freer from petty dissensions. For 
in the measure in which each member of the family 

Influence upon the Daughters 101 

desires his right and his freedom, do all gradually 
learn to respect those of others. If the parents 
consider with dignity their right and their freedom, 
then a reciprocal consideration results after the 
boldness which youth evinces under the first 
influence of the intoxication of freedom. Youth, 
at first so proud and strong in their assurance of 
bringing new ideal values to life, begin themselves 
to experience how the world treats these; and 
what they once called their parents prejudice 
appears to them now often in a new light. Their 
self-assertion becomes a product of culture, out of 
a raw material. The manifestations of their indi 
vidualism become continually more discreet, more 
controlled, but at the same time more essential 
and more effective. When then the young people 
have found their way and the parents endeavour 
to turn them aside to the main road which they 
call the way of wisdom or of duty then certainly 
and with right the young people put themselves 
on the defensive. 

Even a devoted daughter cannot bring to the 
home to-day as undivided a heart as formerly. 
But this gift was earlier a matter of course, so to 
speak, a natural result of the conditions. But if 
to-day a girl sacrifices a talent to filial duty, then 
it is an infinitely greater personal sacrifice; a real 
choice. And if she does not make the sacrifice, 
it is not in the least always on the ground of egoism. 
It happens often in conviction that the uncondi 
tional demand of Christianity that the strong must 

102 The Woman Movement 

have consideration for the weak, makes these 
latter often egoists and tyrants; that the strong, 
who are more significant for the whole, are thus 
rendered inefficient. 

If a troop of athletic boys continually con 
formed to the level of the weakest, then all 
would remain upon a lower plane, and the weak 
find no incentive to seek their triumphs in another 

On the other hand it is fine and eminently sane 
and in harmony with the laws of spiritual growth, 
when the strong shall help the weak to reach a goal 
which is thus, in his own peculiar direction, really 
attainable by him. Neither paganism nor Christ 
ianity has created the most beautiful strength; it 
is a union of both. It has found its most perfect 
expression in art in Donatello s St. George, in 
Michelangelo s David: youths, whose victorious 
power conceals compassion and whose compassion 
embraces even the conquered : symbols of strength 
which has become kind, of kindness which has 
become strong. If a mother has seen this expres 
sion upon the face of her son or her daughter then 
she can address to life the words of Simeon : "Now 
let thy servant depart in peace for mine eyes have 
seen thy glory." For the glory of life is the har 
mony between its two fundamental powers 
conquest and devotion: self-assertion and self- 
sacrifice. In every new phase of the ethical devel 
opment of mankind the cultural problem is this 
harmony and the cultural profit is not the per- 

Influence upon the Daughters 103 

dominance of one of the two but the perfected 
synthesis of both. 

This problem has now become actual, through 
the woman movement, for the feminine half of 
mankind, after the unconditional spirit of sacrifice 
has obtained for centuries as the indispensable 
attribute of womanliness. In the first stage of the 
woman movement the majority of the "emanci 
pated" were still determined by their spirit of 
sacrifice, which they aspired to combine with their 
outside professional work. This generation lived 
beyond its strength. The younger generation of 
to-day does not believe that God gives unlimited 
strength. For they have seen that those who live 
unceasingly beyond their strength finally have 
no strength left, either for others or for themselves. 
And they know that in the long run one can live 
only upon his own resources and these must be 
conserved and renewed in order to suffice. But 
this knowledge makes the problem, which in the 
course of days and years appears in manifold dif 
ferent forms, only more difficult of solution: the 
problem to find the right choice in the collision 
between family duties, duties toward oneself and 
duties toward society ; the choice which shall bring 
with it the essential enhancement of life. 

The conflict is thus solved by some feminists: 
everything called family ties and family feeling is 
referred to the "impersonal" instinctive life, while 
our "personality" expresses itself in intellectual 
activity, in study, in creation, in universally 

104 The Woman Movement 

human ends, in social activity, etc. And since the 
principle of emancipation is certainly the freeing of 
the "personality," it follows from this idea, in 
connection with this definition of the personality, 
that the liberated personality must place the 
obligations of the intellectual life absolutely above 
those of the family life; the outside professional 
work above the work in the home. In a word, 
the earlier definition of womanliness ignored the 
universal human element, the present definition 
of personality ignores the womanly element in 
woman s being. The last solution of the problem 
is quite as one-sided as the first. 

The "principle of personality," as it has just 
been described is entertained especially in America. 
In Europe there are still women who reflect deeply 
upon their own being and who have a depth over 
which they may meditate! These women have 
not yet succeeded in simplifying the problem which 
is the central one of their life. They know that not 
only do instincts, impulses of the will, feelings, 
form the strongest part of the individual character 
which nature has given them, but also that this 
part determines their thinking and creating power 
their whole conscious existence. They know 
that their character receives its peculiarities 
through the development which they themselves 
accord to one or another side of their individual 
temperament. In one personality the intellectual 
life will predominate, in another the emotional: 
in one the ethical, in another the aesthetic motive. 

Influence upon the Daughters 105 

The personality becomes harmonious only when 
no essential motive is lacking, when all attain a 
certain degree of development, a harmony which 
is as yet only so won that no motive receives its 
greatest possible development. Such a harmony has 
long been the especial characteristic of the most 
beautiful womanhood, while the most significant 
men have ordinarily achieved their superior 
strength in one direction, at the cost of harmony in 
the whole. If now women believe that they can 
achieve the strength of men without, for that rea 
son, being obliged to sacrifice something of their 
harmony, then they believe their sex capable of 
possibilities which thus far have been granted 
rarely and then only to the exceptional in both 
sexes. What experience shows is : the greater har 
mony of single women in a limited existence as com 
pared with the lack of harmony in the lives of 
daughters, owing to the irreconcilable problems 
which their richer existence brings with it. For 
these problems must be solved, at one time, by 
sacrifice of intellectual, at another, by sacrifice 
of emotional values. In every case, the sacrifice 
leaves behind it, not the joyful peace of fulfilled 
duty, but the gnawing unrest of a duty still ever un 
fulfilled. Every woman who has a heart knows 
it is at least quite as important a part of her per 
sonality as her passion for science perhaps. If 
for example she is obliged to surrender to another 
the loving service of a sick father in order to pur 
sue scientific researches, then her heart is quite as 

io6 The Woman Movement 

certainly in the sick-room as, in case of the opposite 
choice, her thoughts would have been in the labor 
atory. By calling one factor "instinct" and the 
other "personality," nothing is in reality gained. 
Theorising ladies can easily write the paper is 
forbearing. But human nature is of flesh and 
blood. And therefore thousands of women grap 
ple to-day with tormenting questions: When we 
women shall belong entirely to industrial work and 
to the social life, who then is left for the work of 
love? Only paid hands. What becomes then of 
the warmth in human life when such a division of 
labour is established that kindness becomes a pro 
fession, and the rest of us shall be exempt from its 
practice because our "Personality" has more 
important fields for the exercise of its strength? 
What does it signify to live for society when we 
come to the service of society with chilled hearts? 
If the warmth is to be preserved then we must 
have leisure for love in private life, a right to love, 
peace and means for love. Only thus can our 
hearts remain warm for the social life. Can the 
whole really profit if we sacrifice unconditionally 
that part of the whole which is nearest us? Can 
our feeling of solidarity increase toward mankind 
when we pass by exactly those people to whom we 
could, by our deeds, really show our sympathetic 

The woman whose instinct life is still strong 
and sound, whose personality has its roots deep in 
life which means not social life alone -she also 

Influence upon the Daughters 107 

understands how to determine what life in its 
deepest import purposes with her; she knows how 
she serves it best, whether by remaining in a posi 
tion where she fulfils her personal obligations as 
part of a family or by seeking another position 
where she fulfils this obligation as a member of 

It is true the erroneouus idea still prevails in 
many homes that the daughter must willingly sacri 
fice her social task for the family, a sacrifice which 
the family would never even wish on the part of 
a son. But the assurance that the daughter could 
have made another choice instils in the family, 
unconsciously, a new conception of her sacrifice, 
and gives to herself the courage to assume a posi 
tion in the home other than that she held at the 
time when no choice remained to her. If the total 
of efficacious daughterly love of to-day and earlier 
times be estimated, this total would not prove less 
now. But it is now given rather in a great sum; 
earlier, on the contrary, in many small coins. 
Because of the professional work of the daughter, 
there are now often lacking in the home the ready 
obliging young hands whose help father and 
brother so willingly engrossed; the cheerful com 
forter, the admiring listener. But in a great hour 
the daughter or sister gives now often a hundred 
times more in deep, personal understanding. One 
draws a false conclusion when one thinks that the 
more closely a family holds together the more 
it signifies a corresponding unity and devotion. 

io8 The Woman Movement 

The young act in submission because they permit 
themselves to be cowed by the family authority 
which like a steam-roller passed over their wills 
and their hearts. But the indignation that they 
experienced in their innermost hearts, the criticism 
which they exercised among one another, were not 
less bitter than that which they to-day openly 

The home life of fifty years ago was a school of 
diplomacy; it especially served to oppose cunning 
to the father s authority, and the mother often 
taught the children to use this weapon of weakness. 
Now the father does not wish to make himself 
ridiculous by saying: "I forbid you," for the 
daughter answers: "Well, then, I will wait until 
I am twenty-one." The threat, "I disinherit you," 
recoils from the determination of the daughter, " I 
can work." Only in a distant province, in a little 
town, or among the "upper ten thousand" of a 
large city, where the daughters still often receive 
a "general education," which does not fit them to 
earn their living, are they occupied all day without 
the feeling of having worked. They serve at five 
o clock teas, embroider for charity bazaars, etc. 
But they also experience the power of the spirit of 
the time strongly enough to know that they lead 
a selfish life but not a life of self. The lower the 
scale of riches the more housework do the daugh 
ters have to perform. But as a result of the patri 
archal organisation of labour they still perform 
this without their own responsibility, without the 

Influence upon the Daughters 109 

joy of independence, without regular unoccupied 
time and without one penny at their disposal ! 

Even in these circles however the spirit of the 
time is active ; such a daughter leads now in every 
case a life of much richer content than some 
decades ago, when even though middle-aged she 
was still treated as ignorant innocence and must 
allow herself to be extolled to every possible 
marriage candidate. She suffers when she sees her 
mother as the submissive wife, whose continual 
according smile has graven lines of humility about 
her mouth, whose continually pacifying tone has 
made her voice whining. She suffers when the 
father cuts short a diversity of opinion with the 
words, "You have heard what I said That will 
do." She suffers when her brothers find her 
"insufferably important" or declare her new ideas 
"crazy." But exactly these new ideas about the 
right and freedom of woman, which she encoun 
ters everywhere, have given a dignity to her 
own being which has its influence even without 
words. On the other hand, the fact that the 
fathers lose one legal right after another over the 
feminine members of the family has its effect, 
so that they gradually change their tone, the 
clenched fist falls less and less frequently upon the 
table, the disdain is silenced, and even in the 
provinces the family life is changing more and 
more from the despotic political constitution to 
the democratic, where each one maintains his 
position by virtue of his own personality. There 

i io The Woman Movement 

are still men it is true, who wish to confine "wom 
an s sphere" to the four "C s" "Cooking, cloth 
ing, children, church." But there is no one who 
now insists that "a girl cannot learn Mathematics," 
or that it is "unwomanly to pore over books" 
sayings which were still often heard fifty years 
ago. Certainly there are still men who accept 
the cherishing thoughtful care on the part of the 
women members of the family as obvious homage. 
But the men are becoming more and more num 
erous who receive these womanly acts of tender 
ness with waking joy. Daughters and sisters of 
earlier times have pardoned the vices of their 
fathers and brothers seven and seventy times; 
those of the present throw away the fragments 
of trust and love which have been irrevocably 
shattered. The assurance that the daughters 
and sisters could do nothing else except pardon, 
since they were dependent upon their tormentors, 
often made the fathers and brothers of earlier 
times grossly inconsiderate. The men of to-day 
will be refined by the necessity of showing consid 
eration and justice to their daughters and sisters 
if they wish to enjoy their presence in the home. 
Fathers and brothers have, in a word, gained quite 
as much spiritually through the loss of their power 
to oppress as the daughters and sisters have gained 
in being no longer oppressed. And this experience 
will be repeated in marriage when man and wife 
shall be absolutely free and equal. 



IN their struggle for freedom for the same oppor 
tunities of study, for the same fields of work, the 
same citizenship as man, women have encountered 
all possible opposition, from that of the Pope, who 
recently pronounced the most positive condemna 
tion of the whole movement for the emancipation 
of woman, and that of Parliament, to the rough 
pranks of students. Man s attempt to define the 
boundaries of "woman s natural sphere " continues 
always. The woman physician, for example, had 
to struggle, in her student years, against prejudice 
in the dissecting room, and, in her practice, against 
the professional jealousy of men. The history of 
emancipation has much shameful conduct on the 
part of man toward woman to record. Great 
reluctance to recognise the results of woman s 
work is still common. When this work, in litera 
ture and art for instance, is compared with man s, 
the comparison is made not for the purpose of 
getting a finer understanding of woman s peculiar 
characteristics, but only to disparage it. The 


ii2 The Woman Movement 

energy which men of the present time not infre 
quently lack they cannot endure to recognise in 
women, who often possess it in high degree. In 
the Romance countries, self-supporting working 
women are always looked upon as a special caste 
a caste into which a man does not marry however 
high respect he pays, theoretically, to "les vierges 

And yet how different and more beautiful- 
are the present relations between men and women 
in general, especially among the Germanic peoples. 
A friendly comradeship prevails among the young 
men and women studying at the university, in 
art academies, music schools, business colleges, etc. 
In the North, this comradeship often continues 
from the primary schools, through the grades to 
the university, with results advantageous to both 
sexes. Especially in the years under twenty, this 
comradeship has a significance which cannot be 
overestimated. Girls, who were, earlier, confined 
to a narrow, uninteresting, joyless family circle, 
now often find in the circle of masculine and femi 
nine comrades their share of the joy of youth with 
out which life has no springtime. Youths who 
formerly had known no other young women than 
those with whom they should never have come in 
contact, now learn to know soulful, pure-minded 
girls, and this gives them a new conception of 
woman. Both sexes now experience together the 
joys of youth in such fresh and significant forms 
as folk-dancing, sport, etc. They have opportunity 

Its Influence on Men and Women 113 

for- stimulating interchange of ideas in a great 
circle, and quiet discussion with a few congenial 
friends. During the last twenty or thirty years, 
young men and young women have again begun to 
discover one another spiritually, discoveries which 
since the days of romanticism have been made 
only through the stained glass of literature. In the 
romantic period, men and women exercised recipro 
cally upon one another a humanising influence. 
A like influence again obtains at the present time, 
but upon a much broader basis. The men and 
women of romanticism formed a group bound 
together only by spiritual relationship, in which 
the women aspired to the culture of the men and 
shared their intellectual interests, while the men 
promoted the women s "desire for men s culture, 
art, knowledge, and distinction" (Geluste nach der 
Manner Bildung, Kunst, Weisheit und Ehre. 
Schleiermacher) . Now, young people studying 
in different fields exert a mutual humanising in 
fluence and thereby learn to know one another 
from the side of intelligence as well as from 
that of character and disposition. Thus are 
dispelled certain illusions and conceptions almost 
forced upon them through which both sexes in the 
years of adolescence once regarded each other. 
Men as well as women obtain a finer criterion for 
the conception of "womanliness "and of "man 
liness"; both discover the innumerable shadings 
which these conceptions conceal; both recognise 
that the sexes can meet not only upon the erotic 

ii4 The Woman Movement 

plane, but upon a plane that is universally human ; 
finally, both learn that the more perfect and com 
plete human beings they become, the more they 
have to thank one another for it. 

Comprehension in erotic relations is most diffi 
cult because, there, women are far in advance of 
men. Woman s ideal of love, however, is becom 
ing more and more the ideal of young men. Young 
girls, on their side, are beginning to understand 
better the sexual nature of men. The whole 
world in which man received his culture, won his 
victories, suffered his defeats, is no longer terra 
incognita to women; they have lost the blind 
reverence or the blind hostility with which they 
formerly regarded the doings and dealings of men. 
Men, on the other hand, are learning that the do 
mestic labours for the comfort of the family, which 
they have thus far regarded as the sole duty of 
woman, cannot engross her whole soul, that domes 
ticity leaves many wishes unfulfilled. So both 
sexes have begun, each on its own side, to build 
a bridge across the chasm which law and custom 
had dug between them. The young still ponder 
over the enigmatical antitheses in their natures, 
yet they find they have very much that is human 
in common with one another. In comradeship, 
however, that "chivalry" vanishes, which among 
other things consisted in the ideal that the young 
men had always to bear all the burdens and duties. 
Now as a rule, the girl carries her own knapsack 
on excursions and pays her share of the expenses. 

Its Influence on Men and Women 115 

But if she really needs help, the youth is quite as 
ready as before to grant it to her, just as she also 
on her part is ready to assist according to her 
strength: honest friendship has replaced rap 
turous chivalry. This friendly comradeship often 
satisfies the young man s need of feminine kind 
ness and enjoyment in those dangerous years when, 
as a young man said, "Three fourths of the life 
of a youth, conscious and unconscious, is sex life." 
And nothing can more effectually prevent him 
from degrading himself than access to a circle 
where in quiet and freedom he meets young girls, 
without an indelicate, intruding family surveil 
lance, interfering and asking him about his "inten 
tions." If between two such comrades an erotic 
feeling finally develops, even if the wooing takes 
place in a laboratory instead of a romantic arbour, 
the possibilities always exist, in the golden haze 
of love, of making mistakes. But both have, 
however, had opportunities of seeing each other 
in many character-illuminating situations; they 
have observed each other, not only with their own 
eyes, but also through the more critical glasses of 
the comrade circle. On the other hand, it often 
happens that discussions and interchange of letters 
conjure up a congeniality which exists only in 
opinions and temperament, not in nature. It is 
fortunate when this is discovered in time. Other 
wise bitter conflicts may be the result, should a 
strong individual nature wish to mould the other 
after himself or after his ideal of man or woman. 

n6 The Woman Movement 

For that anyone loves the individuality of another 
without illusions is still very rarely the case. It 
now happens somewhat more frequently, since 
young people in comradeship learn to know mutu 
ally their ideals and dreams, as well in erotic as in 
universally human aspects. But if these ideals 
and dreams do give a hint of character, comrade 
ship brings a true knowledge of character only 
when it also offers an opportunity of seeing others 
act; not only of hearing them speak of themselves. 
Such analyses of one s own soul or the soul of 
others in the atmosphere of tea and cigarettes, 
music and poetry, give the "interesting" mascu 
line or feminine parasites opportunity to ensnare 
a victim, who is then intellectually or erotically, 
often even economically, sucked dry. 

But even if such an interchange of ideas really 
enriched all, it can be carried to excess and become 
deleterious to energy for work, directness, and 
idealism. However beneficial may be the honesty 
of to-day in sexual questions, the discussion of 
the instincts of life which has now become a com 
monplace is also dangerous. These discussions 
are fraught with the same danger to the roots of 
human life as is a continual digging up of the roots 
of a plant to see how it is growing. 

The earlier a marriage can be consummated, 
the less is the danger of freshness being lost in this 
way; the greater the prospect that man and wife 
will grow close together, just as do the man and 
wife of the people, through the difficulty of the 

Its Influence on Men and Women 117 

common struggle for existence. But if this 
struggle becomes easier before youth has entirely 
passed, then there enters often into the life of the 
man a crisis which the practised French call "La 
maladie de quarante ans " : the need of the man for 
a new erotic experience. While those on a lower 
erotic plane, to-day as at all times, seek this in 
transient secret alliances, it leads those on a higher 
level in our time to the most tragic of all separa 
tions, where the man after decades of the most 
intimate life together, of the most faithful work 
together, of mutual understanding drives the 
wife out of the home in order to bring in a young 
wife who has never been to him, perhaps never 
can be to him, a fellow fighter and helper, as the 
repudiated wife was, but who has for him the 
charm of the mystery which the maiden had for 
the man before the days of coeducation, sexual 
discussions, comradeship, and dress-reform! 

Women students now escape the earlier danger 
of the daughter of the family, falling in love out 
of lack of occupation. They have not the time, 
often also not the means to permit themselves 
erotic dreams. There are among them many 
poor girls who dare lose no single semester, for 
they must hasten to earn their livelihood. More 
over, such a girl knows that if she should yield to 
the need for tenderness, for support, that is so 
strong in her, the same fate could happen to her 
as to this or that fellow student who after a short 
happiness was left alone when the lover found a 

n8 The Woman Movement 

good match. And she was left behind not only in 
her sorrow but also in her work. And the more a 
yearning girl buries herself in her studies, the more 
science or art unlock their riches to her, the happier, 
more full of life she feels herself in spite of loneli 
ness, scanty means, and shabby dress. 

Among women students there are also many of 
the cerebral type, mentioned above, women who 
need tenderness neither in the form of friendship 
nor of love ; yes, who fear in both a bond for their 
"free individuality." These take part in sports, 
discuss, jest, with their fellow men students, open- 
hearted and unconcerned, without thinking whether 
they please or not. All these young girls now go 
about with perfect freedom; even in the Romance 
countries, a young woman can now go alone with 
her bag of books or her racquet. For in circles 
where study has not yet exercised its freeing in 
fluence, sport has brought this about. 

In America, student life, because of the early 
entrance of the men into the professions, becomes 
more a one-sided, feminine comrade-life. There, 
the women have to develop their arts of the toilet 
for each other, whom they find more interesting, 
more worthy of pleasing than the masculine sex. 
Even in Europe, feminine comradeship in the 
student years is at times most intimate. For a 
friendship between a young girl and a young man 
often ends with love on one side. Or in an inti 
mate circle A has fallen in love with B, but B with 
C, etc. Such eventualities the wise girl will avoid 

Its Influence on Men and Women 119 

for they can bring both suffering and obstruction 
to her work. With women comrades, she has, with 
out this risk, an interchange of ideas which pro 
motes study, deepens culture, opens up new views, 
and gives to all new impulses. There exists, at 
least at the present time, a difference between the 
masculine and feminine method of inquiry, of 
solving problems, of apprehending ideas, which 
results in the fact that comradeship between wo 
men cannot take the place of comradeship between 
men and women. It is, however, for deep and 
beautiful natures often impossible at the beginning 
of life to be capable, in a spiritual sense, of 
more than a single friendship with their own sex; 
for each new spiritual contact becomes a new and 
difficult problem. For such men or women a 
friendship with a comrade of their own sex is often 
the richest advantage of their student time. Often 
a student in good circumstances finds her joy in 
taking care of some lonely comrades. They find 
at her apartments, in a friendly welcome, a few 
flowers and pictures, a teakettle, a fireplace, that 
feeling of homely warmth for which the shivering 
students have longed, a longing which has often 
driven a lonely, impressionable youth from the 
dreary students room to "rough pleasures." 
Now when he leaves the little comrade circle, his 
sweetest memories of home, his finest dreams, 
vibrate in him. And the timid girl goes in the 
certainty that there is another girl who is con 
cerned about her wretched fate. 

120 The Woman Movement 

In such a quiet as also in a more lively comrade- 
life both sexes learn to know not only each other 
but also different classes and, in certain European 
universities, the several nations. It is not un 
usual for nine or ten races to be found represented 
in one small group of comrades. Life thus becomes 
everywhere enriched by strong manifestations or 
fine shades of congeniality; spiritual attractions 
and repulsions cross one another; inspiring or 
restraining impressions radiate in all directions. 
It would be quite as impossible to estimate the 
fructifying influence of such a friendly intercourse 
as to measure the life which comes into existence 
on a spring day filled with the sigh of the wind, 
the fluttering of butterflies, and humming of bees. 

In such a circle of comrades, devotion and ca 
pacity for sacrifice are past belief, especially in 
the nation where the girls wear short hair and the 
young men long hair," as a wag characterised the 
young Russians studying abroad. That a couple 
of Russian girls, for a whole winter, possessed to 
gether but a single pair of shoes and so could never 
go out at the same time, is one of the innumerable 
small and great expressions of the feeling of soli 
darity among the poorest students of the university. 

When the comrade life assumed the form ex 
clusively of coffee-house visits, then the women had 
to revolt against it. But they often, alas, allowed 
themselves to be carried with the stream. Be 
cause the coffee-house life at first really gave a 
certain polish to the intelligence, it could for a short 

Its Influence on Men and Women 121 

time have its justification. But when a blade is 
worn out, the artist of life should cease grinding; 
if on the contrary he allows the grindstone to go 
on continually, then at last he has only the haft 
in his hand. Formerly, it was only the young men 
but now even the girls wear out thus their weapons 
or tools before they ever use them seriously. 

The darkest side of coeducational life has been 
that women could demonstrate their equal capa 
bility with men in no other way than by the same 
courses and examinations as those of the men. 
The eagerness of women to prove their like pro 
ficiency with men in study and in sport has often 
had disastrous physical results. These are con 
tinually becoming more infrequent, thanks to 
the decreasing prudery in regard to the sexual 
functions and to the increasing hygienic conscience. 
The intellectual results, however, continue to 
exist and are disastrous alike for both sexes; but 
because of the ambition and conscientiousness of 
girls, perhaps still more disastrous for them. The 
examinations which they pass are often dearly 
bought. This was not noticed in the beginning, 
when a woman doctor was still looked at with 
wonder as a noteworthy product of culture, and 
regarded herself also with wonder. Truly she had 
sacrificed to grinding and cramming for examina 
tions a multitude of youthful joys, but she had, as 
was thought, won in this way much greater values. 
This, however, is not always really the case. 

122 The Woman Movement 

Ethically, the conscientious girl is certainly above 
the boy who, not infrequently in the unconscious 
instinct of self-preservation, idles away his time. 
But the mental strength of the latter may fre 
quently be better preserved in any determined 
direction. Girls, conscientious and zealous in 
their work, have filled their heads full of lessons to 
which the coming examination and not their own 
choice has urged them. What is thus crammed in 
is not assimilated and consequently has not pro 
moted spiritual or mental growth. But it has 
taken up room and has thereby impaired the 
intellectual freedom of motion and compelled the 
natural individuality to compress itself so that 
it is long before the space conditions in the brain 
permit it to extend again in case it is not simply 
choked by all the chaotic mass that has been ab 
sorbed. How many young girls have come to the 
university or to the art academy full of thirst for 
knowledge and energy for work! But after a few 
years they feel the disgust of surfeit, unless they 
have found a teacher who has been to them a 
leader to the essentials in science or in art. Then 
their joy in study could really be as rich as they 
had once dreamed it yes, as perhaps even their 
grandmothers had dreamed it when they had to 
content themselves with their little text-books 
written for "girls." Many young girls maintain 
to-day, through some teacher or some masculine 
comrade, that spiritual development which only 
an exceptional relationship between a father and 

Its Influence on Men and Women 123 

daughter, a brother and sister, could give in earlier 


When men and women can study together, 
then the relationship later between masculine and 
feminine fellow workmen will, as a rule, be better 
than when the sexes work independently in the 
student days. It is true masculine competitors still 
have recourse to the weapon of spreading reports 
of the incapacity of their feminine competitors 
at times honestly convinced of it themselves. 
The same weapon is of course turned also against 
masculine competitors. Yet there it is a question 
of the individual, while in regard to women, the 
sex is often the only proof the man thinks he need 
assign for the inferiority of their work. It can 
be said, however, upon the whole, that the rela 
tionship between men and women professional 
colleagues exhibits the same good side as the com 
mon student life, although naturally to a lesser 
degree. The joint work does not often leave much 
time for significant interchange of ideas, and after 
working hours each usually longs for new faces. 
The influence of joint labour is often limited to 
the refining effect that the presence of one sex 
exercises upon the other. Small services are 
mutually rendered and each worker learns also 
to respect the achievements of the other; or one 
is provoked because the work which should have 
been dispatched by the other now falls to his share ! 

If the woman performs the same work as the 

124 The Woman Movement 

man, then she is often indignant because she must 
do it for smaller compensation than he. All too 
easily, the feminists forget that this injustice is 
equalised if a man who wishes to establish a family 
cannot obtain a post which he seeks because a 
woman retains it who can be satisfied with a smaller 
wage since she remains in her parents home. 
For this disparity, raising bitterness on both sides, 
there is no remedy under the present economic 
system. Feminists can demand the same compen 
sation, but working women will not obtain it so 
long as the supply of workers is to the demand as 
one hundred to one in the professional occupations 
to which women flock. In vain underpaid women 
will call to the agitators of the woman movement, 
"Help us to obtain endurable conditions of life." 
The only honest answer is, "Help one another, 
just as the working men have helped one another, 
by union and solidarity! " 

The competition of the sexes in the labour field 
is only indirectly connected with the woman move 
ment; it is a part of the social question and will 
therefore only be touched upon here. 

The hostility which the competition between 
the sexes has evoked is a factor in the social war; 
and if by reason of this competition marriage 
decreases, then such competition is a form of social 
danger. If the cause is sought in the woman 
movement, then the question is begged completely, 
because the women with sufficient income to be 
able to live at home without industrial work, after 

Its Influence on Men and Women 125 

the loss of a husband or a father, are constantly 
becoming more rare. There is the additional fact 
that in many positions where man and woman have 
equal salary, the woman is preferred because of 
her greater honesty and faithfulness to duty. 
Further it must be emphasised that, even in 
middle-class vocations, women with increasing 
frequency earn their whole livelihood, not merely 
a supplementary remuneration, when if they did 
not thus work they would be a burden to some 
man and so perhaps prevent him from marrying. 
Many of these women would wish nothing better 
than to enjoy the warmth of "the domestic hearth" 
to which men in theory relegate them; but since 
no man offers this warmth, they must at least be 
allowed to procure fuel for their lonely hearth fire. 

When men declare that "the only duty which 
has life value for a woman is to be man s helpmeet," 
then they ought not to forget that this task is more 
and more rarely assigned to a woman, because men 
prefer to do without her aid, and even find a richer 
life in bachelorhood than in marriage. They should 
not dare to forget also that a great number of men 
disinclined or disqualified for work compel their 
sisters, daughters, wives, to undertake the task of 
family provider, and these women also must forego 
being, "in the quiet of the home, man s helpmeet." 

However weak the feminist logic often may be, 
it is not so weak as the anti-feminist logic of man. 
Masculine vacuity has^found there an arena where 
it performs the most incredible gymnastics. The 

126 The Woman Movement 

hysteria of literary fanatics, the crude lordly in 
stincts of the mediocre man, the irritation of the 
masculine good-for-nothing at the increasing 
ability of women, the rage, confounding cause and 
effect, over the competition of women these are 
some of the reasons for the present antagonism 
between men and women. The deepest reason is 
this: the more woman is compelled to maintain 
the struggle for existence under the same social 
conditions as those under which men have been 
thus far compelled to struggle, the more she loses 
that character by which she gives happiness to 
man and receives it from him. A diminished 
erotic attraction is frequently the result, not of 
the work of women, but of their work under such 
conditions that the drudging, worn-out women 
comrades finally appear to their masculine col 
leagues only as "sexless ants." Sometimes they 
really exhibit that obliteration of all characteristic 
marks of sex which Meunier has indicated to us 
in his Woman Miner, a great thought-inspiring 
work of art. 

Many a woman of the present time, deeply 
feminine, suffers under this compulsory neutral 
ising of her womanly being. Others again con 
sider this a path to complete humanity. 

But the complete personality is only that man 
or woman who has cultivated and exercised the 
strength which he or she as a human being pos 
sessed without having neutralised thereby the 
characteristic of sex. It is tragic when nature 

Its Influence on Men and Women 127 

herself creates deviations from normal sexuality, 
but criminal when the ideas of the time weaken 
sound instincts and inculcate unsound ones. It 
is not woman nature but the denatured woman 
who is beginning to grow through the ultra- 
feminism which looks down upon woman s normal 
sexual duty as only a low, animal function. 

That sound men abominate this tendency is 
justifiable. On the other hand, it is unwarrant 
able to confuse a variation of feminism with the 
woman movement in its entirety, a movement 
which includes in itself a great earnest desire to 
work for the welfare of both mothers and children. 
As a manifestation of womanliness in its most 
complete, perfect form, many men still elect the 
woman whose entire life-content consists in the 
cult of her own beauty, a cult whose attendant 
phenomenon is the aesthetic culture which raises 
the temple about the altar. Under this perfect 
and apparently inspired form there is, however, 
rarely anything to be found of that which the man 
seeks: the longing and the power of true woman 
hood to give happiness by erotic and motherly 
devotion. Such women, like those cerebral women 
engrossed by their studies and their work, allow 
a real love to pass them by ; men are only sacrificial 
servants of the cult, and the high priest is chosen 
not upon the ground of motives of feeling. This 
type is said to be more common in America than 
in Europe. But it existed thousands of years 
ago on the Tiber as well as on the Nile. That 

128 The Woman Movement 

Cleopatra in the language of feminism now speaks 
of the "right of the personality," and means 
thereby her right to represent no other value in 
life than that of the white peacock and the black 
orchid the value of rarity that does not make 
her a "product of the woman movement." 

But certain men characterise a woman thus, 
if they have been deceived in her: a psychology 
which equals in value that of the feminist when 
she speaks of man as the "oppressor," the "cor- 
rupter, " without noting that the world is full 
of poor men corrupted or tormented by women! 
Amid such mutual accusations, just or unjust 
whereby gifted men maintain generalisations about 
"woman s" being which are quite as ingenuous 
as those which silly women propose about "man s" 
being the sexes, in the days of the woman move 
ment, have been almost as much alienated from 
each other as drawn together. The estrangement 
has taken place in the erotic field and through 
labour competition; the reconciliation has been 
effected leaving out coeducation by common 
industry and the social activity of both sexes. 

The middle-class women of Europe have still 
so little share in the control of production that 
one cannot determine whether or not they have 
even awakened to the understanding that the 
fundamental condition of a universal life-enhanc 
ing issue of the woman movement must be new 
social conditions One cannot yet predicate 
anything at all in regard to their desires to pro- 

Its Influence on Men and Women 129 

mote more humane labour conditions and a more 
just distribution of profit. Under the system 
now prevailing they must, like men, either conform 
to it or be destroyed economically. It is even so 
in public offices and similar fields of labour. Just 
as so many young men do, at the beginning of 
their career, a great number of women attempt 
to abolish the abuses and mitigate the formalism. 
But they meet such obstacles that, like the young 
men, they are obliged to abandon the effort; or 
they are compelled to give up the position whereby 
they win their scanty bread. 

In this way, principally, the work of women in 
the sphere of charitable activity has given to men 
the opportunity for a correct valuation of the social 
working power of woman. Men have then in a 
wider sphere than that of the family circle, so 
often overlooked by them, learned to appreciate 
feminine enthusiasm and capacity for organisa 
tion, energy and devotion, initiative and endur 
ance. Innumerable men from the soldiers up, 
who in the hospitals of the Crimea literally kissed 
Florence Nightingale s shadow on the floor of the 
hospital ward have learned in the last half 
century that life has become more kindly for them 
since social motherliness has obtained for itself a 
certain elbow-room. The more women lose their 
present fear of appearing, in cooperation with 
men, "womanly" impulsive, savage in face of in 
justice and cruelty, the more will they signify in 
that joint work where, at least to-day, they still 

130 The Woman Movement 

have a more fortunate hand the hand of the 

And since a single fact is more convincing than 
a thousand words, so the facts gained in the social 
activity of woman have won, in later years, 
many men supporters of woman suffrage. The 
arguments derived from abstract right however 
obvious they may be for every tax-paying, law- 
abiding woman go to the rear to make way for 
the argument of "social utility." 

Not only women themselves but men also refer 
now to what women have accomplished when they 
are allowed to work in the service of society; 
they point to the reforms which were retarded or 
bungled because women had no immediate influ 
ence there where appropriations were granted and 
laws were enacted. 

Especially significant for the reconciliation of 
the sexes is the joint social work of young people. 
The temperance cause or the education of the 
masses or socialism now brings together a host of 
young men and girls, who learn thereby that the 
social as well as the private life of labour gains in 
strength and wealth if men and women participate 
in it together. 

The men who fear political life for woman are, 
however, right. Just as this life has injured the 
best qualities in the manhood of many men, so 
will it impair the womanhood of many women. 
Neither the spiritual personality of woman nor 

Its Influence on Men and Women 131 

of man, nor even their secondary physical sex 
characteristics can withstand the influences of 
their private milieu, of their private labour con 
ditions. Why should women better resist the 
influences of the public life? When the man is 
compelled, in political work for the state, to neglect 
in the highest degree the foundation of the state 
the home how should women be able to do 
otherwise than the same thing? The political 
work of both can benefit the home in general but 
their own home must always suffer for it, for a time 
at least. Women will learn, as so many men have 
already learned, that the fresh enthusiasm, the 
unexhausted optimism with which they entered 
the political life soon vanish before party pres 
sure, general prejudice, opportunism, and the de 
mands of compromise. And just as now so many 
men for these reasons withdraw from Parliament, 
many women will do likewise when they learn 
that what they can accomplish there with the 
characteristics peculiar to them, is so insignificant 
that it does not compensate for the injury which 
ensues because these characteristics are missing 
in the home. 

If the eligibility of woman is really to benefit 
society, then the right of resignation must be un 
conditioned for mothers, and they themselves must 
understand that the parliamentary mandate is in 
compatible with motherhood so long as the chil 
dren are still in the home; in like manner during 
the same period, the franchise of the mother of a 

132 The Woman Movement 

family must not result in rushing into electioneer 
ing. The ballot in and of itself does not injure 
the fineness of a woman s hand any more than a 
cooking receipt. 

Because woman s motherhood must be pre 
served, if she is to bring to the social organism 
a really new factor, so she must always continue 
to be found and to work in private life, in 
order to be, meanwhile, useful in public life. 
The genius of social reform which women will 
develop can complement that of man only if this 
genius is of a new order; if it originates thoughts 
which bring new points of view to the social 
problems, wills which seek new means, souls which 
aspire to new ends. Women could, if they re 
ceived their full civic right before they lost their 
intuitive and instinctive power through mascu- 
linisation, effect the progress of culture as, for 
example, the entrance of the Germans influenced 
the antique world. 

The sooner woman receives her political fran 
chise, the more, on the whole, can be expected 
from it. The generation which has now fought 
the fight for suffrage is wholly conscious of the 
reforms that await woman for their final realisa 
tion. And this generation of women would in 
troduce into the political life a new, fresh current. 
In any event, we can hope to secure from women 
new impulses and better organisation in political 
life, as has already been the case in social life. 

Its Influence on Men and Women 133 

But every new generation of parliamentary women, 
who together with the men have been "politically 
trained," would have as long as the present 
economic conditions obtain continually greater 
economic interests to advocate "parliamentarily," 
and would also for other reasons evince the same 
parliamentary maladies as the men evince now. 
And as little as evil men lose their evil character 
istics because of the franchise, quite as little will 
bad women lose theirs. The entrance of women 
into politics cannot therefore as certain femin 
ists maintain signify the victory of the noble 
over the ignoble. But it signifies a great increase 
in noble as well as ignoble powers hitherto inactive 
in political life, which in the wider sphere that they 
there maintain oppose one another, now conquer 
ing, now yielding. Men and women together, 
however, will be able to enact more humane laws 
than men alone can enact. Questions concerning 
women and children can be treated with deeper 
seriousness by men and women together than is 
now the case. Men and women together will 
consider the social life from more significant 
points of view than can one sex alone. Govern 
ment consisting of men and women together will 
be more profound than heretofore. No one who 
has observed the effects of masculine and feminine 
cooperation in fields already mentioned can doubt 
this. Who can deny that with the civic right of 
woman her feeling of social responsibility will 
increase and that her horizon will widen? And 

134 The Woman Movement 

therewith her value as wife and mother of men will 
also increase? But she will increase in value for 
the men closely connected with her as well as in 
social respects. The woman of earlier times, for 
all of whom society might go to pieces if only her 
home and family prospered, was only in a restric 
ted sense man s help. In certain great crises she 
usually betrayed him simply because she wholly 
lacked the social feeling. 

Obviously, the female member of Parliament 
cannot confine herself solely to questions which 
concern the protection of the weaker and the edu 
cation of the new race. The more women con 
centrate upon the cause of justice against power, 
and of public spirit against self-interest, the more 
advantageous it will be for her herself and for the 
public life. But concentration is, unfortunately, 
exactly what modern parliamentarism does not 
promote; what it does promote is disintegration. 

Woman has, however, where she has entered 
into parliamentary life as elector and eligible, 
shown thus far exactly this tendency toward con 
centration. She has worked for moral, tem 
perance, and hygienic questions; for questions 
concerning schools and education of the masses; 
for mother and child protection ; reform of marriage 
laws, and kindred subjects. What thinking man 
can maintain that all this does not belong to 
"woman s sphere" or can say that these and 
similar social interests have been sufficiently 
attended to by an exclusively masculine govern- 

Its Influence on Men and Women 135 

ment? Already the opposite danger appears in 
certain social spheres: an exclusively "feminine 

In the present forms of public life, however, 
much feminine power will without doubt be 
wasted. Only when man, upon a higher plane, has 
created a new kind of representation "of the 
people," where professional interests in every 
sphere are represented, can the highest vocation of 
woman motherhood come into its rights. 

It belongs to the necessary course of historical 
development that women also go through the 
stage of party-power politics in order together 
with man to reach the stage of social politics and 
finally that of culture politics. 

But women cannot wait until this development 
has been attained; they must accomplish it to 
gether with man. Just as the best masculine 
powers sooner or later must be concentrated to 
transform increasingly untenable parliamentary 
conditions, so the best feminine powers will also 
work in the same direction, especially if the will 
becomes intense in mothers not only to awaken 
in their children the social spirit, but also to create 
for them better social conditions. 

In later years, the movement for the suffrage 
of woman has not only filled the world with suf 
frage societies but the agitation has even achieved 
popular representation in eighteen European 
countries, in the legislative assemblies of a 
number of American States, in Australasia, in 

136 The Woman Movement 

legislative assemblies in Canada and in the Philip 
pines. In Iceland as well as in Italy, in Japan as 
in South Africa, the movement is in progress, and 
whoever thinks it will not attain its goal is politic 
ally blind. 

When anti-feminist men prophesy that men will 
love their mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters less 
when pitted against them as political opponents 
or competitors, they prophesy certainly in many 
cases the truth. Politics have already estranged 
fathers from sons, brothers from brothers. But 
this demonstrates only either that the personal 
feelings were weaker than the political passions 
or that these latter have destroyed the attributes 
which made the personality lovable. But if men 
are really able to love and women remain lovable, 
even as political personalities, then a man will not 
cease to love a woman, even if she votes for a 
different congressional candidate! Such prophe 
cies have not been verified in other spheres from 
which men sought to intimidate women by similar 
warnings. For woman retains her power over 
man. if she retains her womanly charm, created 
out of peace, harmony, and kindness. Not that 
of which a woman speaks, not that for which she 
works, determines man s feeling and conduct; 
but how she does it. A woman may charm a man 
by a political speech, and drive him away by her 
table talk. A poor working woman can, without 
a word, induce the same man to give her his seat 
in a street car who the next minute can be brutal 

Its Influence on Men and Women 137 

to an assuming and incapable fellow workwoman. 
In a word, what a woman makes of her rights and 
what they make of her that alone determines 
the measure of veneration, sympathy, love, which 
she may expect from a man. 

That women have lost their equilibrium cannot 
be denied. How could it be otherwise? Not 
only have they in the last half century experi 
enced, together with man, Naturalism and the 
New Romantic movement, Nee-Kantianism, the 
Higher Criticism, Bismarck and Bebel, Darwin 
and Spencer, Wagner and Nietzsche, Ibsen and 
Tolstoi, Haeckel and von Hartmann, and still 
many, many more, but they themselves in dizzy 
haste have been hurled out of their position in so 
ciety, protected by the family, which they had occu 
pied for centuries. It is obvious that at the present 
moment the spiritual mobility of women must be 
greater than their harmony; that the raw culture 
material which they possess must be richer than 
that which they can utilise; their life experiences 
more significant than their art of life. The modern 
woman must appear for the present less sym 
metrical, more uncertain, than man s ideal woman 
in earlier times. But enduring cultural progress 
cannot be measured by comparison with the ideal 
figures of the poetry or of the life of earlier times. 
It must be estimated according to the average 
type in a certain period. And the average woman 
of our time is, in the fullest significance of the word, 
more full of vitality and adaptability, more indi- 

138 The Woman Movement 

vidually developed, more beneficial socially, than 
the average woman of fifty years ago. With the 
freedom of movement the social feeling has in 
creased ; with the participation in universal human 
culture, the richness of content: the spiritual life 
has become more complex, and the possibilities 
of expression of this new soul-life, more numerous. 
But since the average man, in the meantime, 
has undergone no comparable development, he is 
estranged, has lost his bearings, and consequently 
repudiates a movement which, directly and in 
directly, makes such great demands for the de 
velopment of his own higher spiritual qualities. 
Heretofore men could force women to endure un 
due interference, and so have deprived them of the 
education wherein the possible consequences of 
action are considered at the same time with the 
thought of the action. But the woman movement 
has now raised a partition between the sexes such 
as is found in the aquarium where it becomes 
necessary to teach the pike to allow the carp, also, 
to live: every time the pike makes a dash at the 
carp he strikes his head against the obstruction, 
until the motive of repression becomes so strong 
that the glass wall can be taken away and both 
carp and pike live together in peace. 



CERTAIN feminists believe that the woman move 
ment has accomplished such meagre results in 
regard to the reorganisation of family right for 
the sole reason that men, who once created the 
right for their own advantage, still cling to the 
injustice out of egoism. These feminists forget 
that the family is the social form of life in which 
tradition has the greatest power. It speaks here 
with the voice of the blood; it works through our 
deepest instincts, our strongest needs of life, our 
innermost feelings, as these have developed 
through many thousands of years under the in 
fluences which were exercised in and through the 
family. To accomplish in this sphere not only 
reforms upon paper but also vigorous modifica 
tions that is, new laws and customs which are 
rooted in new spiritual conditions of the people 
as a whole is more necessary than that man grant 
women a share in legislation. Innumerable indi 
vidual human vicissitudes must be experienced and 
repeated in new forms, entering finally into the 


140 The Woman Movement 

universal consciousness, before such spiritual soil 
can be formed. The man became and remained 
the head of the family because all experiences and 
social factors once made this arrangement most 
advantageous for father, mother, and children. 
Woman will be able to realise her new ideas in re 
gard to love-life and mother-right to the degree 
in which she demonstrates, not only in speech 
and writing but also in vigorous daily living, that 
these ideals surpass in vital effect those which 
now obtain. 

In the last half century, among the Germanic 
peoples, however, the family life has already under 
gone essential transformations, while the Romantic 
world still continues to exhibit features which in 
the first half of the iQth century were typical even 
among these peoples. Marriages are arranged by 
the father, divorce is considered either a sin or a 
shame, the paternal power is still absolute, the 
homogeneous relationship among all the members 
of the family in joy and sorrow is inviolable. 
The feeling of the son for the mother, bordering 
almost upon Madonna worship, and the passion 
of the father for their little children, must, how 
ever, always have been more characteristic of the 
Romance peoples than of the Germans. 

Among the latter the attainment of individual 
ism, first in the sphere of legislation, still more in 
that of customs, most of all in that of mode of 
thought and feeling, has altered the position of 

Its Influence upon Marriage 141 

the individual in the family. While the family 
exhibited fifty years ago a tightly closed unity, 
in which women had only slight significance, now 
the wife as well as the husband, mother as well as 
father, daughter as well as son, assert their per 
sonality, not only in the family, but often even 
against the family. Wives draw the arguments 
for their self assertion most frequently from the 
principles of the woman movement. 

Truly, in the course of the century, many mar 
ried women have succeeded in finding expression 
for their significant universal human or feminine 
attributes in marriage, and thus have ennobled it. 
But the self-conscious effort to elevate the posi 
tion of the wife began simultaneously with the 
demand that no human right could be denied to a 
woman upon the ground of her sex, whether within 
or without marriage. 

Individualism has already made personal love, 
instead of family interest, decisive for the consum 
mation of a marriage. In the name of her per 
sonality as of her work, woman desires with ever 
greater right full majority and legal equality with 
man in marriage. Against individualism, the 
doctrine of evolution now advocates certain 
limitations of the personal erotic freedom to con 
summate marriage, but advocates at the same time, 
contrary to the Christian sexual ethics, new free 
dom for the sake of the higher development of the 
race. Here comes into effect, the new conception 
of life by which the possibilities of development 

142 The Woman Movement 

and of happiness in the earthly life have acquired 
a new value and force. 

The ultimate heights of the modern conception 
of sex-life are indicated by erotic idealism, which 
since "La Nouvelle Heloise" has by poets and 
dreamers been continually elevated, while world- 
renowned lovers showed the possibility of this 
wonderful love. In addition to all these influences 
of the spirit of the time upon the transformation 
of marriage, come the indirect effects of the woman 
movement. Thanks to the vibrations in which 
this movement has set the "spirit of the time," 
many an ordinary man now accords to his wife 
that power and authority in the family which the 
law still denies her; yes, many commonplace 
people of both sexes now desire from their marriage 
things of which their equals fifty years ago did not 
even dream. If one adds also the decisive in 
fluences which the political-economic conditions 
of the present exercise upon the family life, one 
has found some of the threads which form the woof 
of the unalterable warp, a woof which makes the 
marriage of the present a variegated and unquiet 
fabric, whose pattern exhibits primeval oriental 
motives beside those in newest "modern style." 

Here it is of the greatest importance to indicate 
the zigzag line which denotes the alternate repul 
sion and attraction that under the influence of 
the woman movement marriage has had for woman. 

First came the little crowd of "masculine wo 
men" with their hatred of marriage and man. 

Its Influence upon Marriage 143 

Then the great working army that forgot, over 
the human rights of woman, that to these also 
must belong the right to fulfil her duty as a being 
of sex, and not alone the right to be "independent 
of marriage" through her work. Then came the 
reaction against this incompleteness. At this 
time, the nature of woman was called an "empty 
capsule," which received its content only from man : 
a "cry of the blood," which finds its answer in the 
child. There was no other "woman question" 
than the possibility of living erotically a complete 
life. One woman wished this in love without 
marriage, another in love without children, a third 
in children without marriage, a fourth in children 
without love "A work and a child" was the life 
cry a fifth woman wished the man only for the 
sake of the child, a sixth the child only for the sake 
of the man, and the seventh wished both only for 
her own sake ! 

The conviction of some women that the common 
erotic life of man and woman must have also a 
spiritual life-value for two human souls, filling 
out and developing each other, was called "Ibsen- 
ism." And after the ideal demands which Ibsen 
pressed upon the consciousness of the time, many 
men and not a few women found relaxation 
after their spiritual over-exertion, if they desired 
nothing more from one another than "the sound 
happiness of the senses . Woman s personality, 
"equality," and "human right" were old play 
things, relegated to the rubbish heap. 

144 The Woman Movement 

The reaction against this reaction is now in 
progress. Just now and equally one-sided as 
will be shown later woman s universal humanity 
is emphasised at the expense of the instinct life; 
her social labour-duty, at the expense of the 
domestic life; her personality, at the expense of 
the family. 

Among all these zigzag movements, more deeply 
thoughtful women continually sought to recall 
that neither the universal human nor the sexual 
being of woman must be over-developed at the 
expense of the other qualities of her being; that 
perfect humanity signifies for neither sex that the 
spiritual life has suppressed the sex-life or sex, 
the soul-life, but that both find in a third higher 
condition their full redemption and harmony. 
Through great love, exceptional natures already 
create this condition; but what to-day only ex 
ceptional natures attain, culture can gradually 
make attainable for many. 

This great love demands fidelity. But often 
only one ordinarily the woman experiences this 
great feeling. And then not even the deepest 
devotion on her part suffices to preserve the com 
munity of life. To preserve the form for the pur 
pose of guarding the inner emptiness, as was done 
earlier, is repugnant to the erotic consciousness 
of the modern woman. This is the deepest reason 
why the modern woman even also the modern 
developed man becomes continually more un 
decided about contracting marriage. They both 

Its Influence upon Marriage 145 

know that the passion which attracts two beings 
is not synonymous with a sympathy which arises 
through the harmony of their natures, which must 
not be so complete that nothing remains of the 
unexpected and mysterious that is so essential 
an element of love. The modern woman asks 
herself, "What can prove to me that an erotic 
sympathy is profound, real, decreed by nature, 
life-long?" And she asks with good reason. If 
two lovers who know that they make each other 
happy with all the senses, constrained themselves, 
each in a corner of a room fettered to a stool, 
blindfolded, to entertain each other three hours 
daily for three months, this test would probably 
prevent a great number of marriages void of 
sympathy. But it would furnish no guaranty 
that those who consummated the marriage after 
such a concentrated soul interchange, would hold 
out. For souls which in a certain stage of develop 
ment seem inexhaustible can be so transformed 
that they experience only satiety for each other. 
The young wife of to-day is deeply conscious of 
what a new problem for each newly married woman 
marriage is. She knows how impossible it is to 
foresee what difficulties will be encountered and 
whether good intentions and tactful adaptation 
will succeed in overcoming these difficulties. She 
knows that, even if the written law made her 
wholly equal to man, even if she made herself 
that equal by entering only into a marriage of 
the higher, newer conscience, yet all the inner, 

146 The Woman Movement 

most difficult, deepest problems still remain. 
This certainly induces many women to become 
only the beloved, the mistress, of the man who 
wishes no community of life, but only happy 
hours. Many more women still strike the possi 
bilities of erotic happiness out of their plan of 
life, because they have not experienced the ideal 
love of which they dreamed, or else could not 
realise it. T 

1 This idealism has naturally part also in the fact that, for 
example, two thirds of the women who have gone through college 
in America do not marry, and find in club life a compensation 
for domestic life. But other motives also must often play a part 
here, from the desire to devote herself entirely to one of the life- 
works serviceable to mankind, to the egoism of spiritually barren 
young girls with its distaste for burdens and restraint. 

A keen-sighted observer who recently spent a half year in 
North America corroborated what many have already stated: 
that the student and working young American girls devote 
themselves with true passion to the cultivation of their beauty, 
their toilette, their flirtations. All this belongs for her to the 
"Fine Arts" and as such is an end sufficient in itself, while for 
European women these arts, as a rule, are still means for alluring 
men to marriage. While study or work often makes European 
women in outer sense less "womanly," although her soul always 
guards its full power to love, in America the reverse is the case : 
the outer appearance is bewitchingly womanly, but the soul no 
longer vibrates for love. The sexual sterility which Maudsley 
already prophesied thirty years ago, when he spoke about the 
" sexless ants," has been partly realised, partly chosen voluntarily. 
In Europe it still frequently happens that a young woman who 
has put love aside for the sake of study or work is suddenly seized 
by an irresistible passion; in America, on the contrary, this 
is extremely rare. Women students look down upon the less 
cultured men, who ordinarily finish their studies earlier in order 
to earn a livelihood. The sympathy which they need, women 
find more easily in their own sex. The unmarried have quite 

Its Influence upon Marriage 147 

Sometimes their doubt, in regard to the duration 
of love and the unity of souls, decides them, an 
other time the longing for a personal life-work is 
the reason for their determination a life-work 
for which these women have suffered so keenly, 
been deprived of so much, and have so struggled, 
that it has become passionately dear to them, and 
they feel that a complete renunciation of the erotic 
life is easier than the torment of being " drawn and 
quartered," as the death penalty of the Middle 
Ages was called a quartering between profession, 
husband, home, and children. And the result 

the same social position as the married and do not desire children. 
If they finally marry, it is ordinarily because a more brilliant 
position is offered them than the one which they could create 
themselves, and the man is then considered and treated as a 

My authority emphasises also that the young students or 
working girls are ordinarily less original, of less personal signi 
ficance, less individually developed, than the older women, es 
pecially women s rights women, who often have not studied but 
have grown grey in marriage and motherhood, in self-develop 
ment and in social work. The interesting significant American 
feminists were women between the ages of fifty and ninety; the 
woman of the present generation, however, which now enjoys the 
fruits of the work of the older generation, is, in spite of excel 
lent scholarship and great working proficiency, less a woman and 
less a human being, less a personality. 

These wholly fresh observations, which were communicated 
to me during the printing of my book, seem to me to confirm 
so strongly my point of view that I wish to repeat them here. 

But in France and elsewhere mothers tell us how clear, intel 
ligent, and universally interested their daughters are, and at the 
same time how critical, how free from ardour and enthusiasm. 
It is not the hasty love-marriage that many mothers now fear for 
their daughters, but a worldly-wise marriage without love. 

148 The Woman Movement 

usually demonstrates that celibacy is wiser than 
the compromise. It is most frequently the case, 
in Europe at least, if the work of the un 
married woman had no personal character, and if 
the home is not dependent upon the earnings of 
the wife, that she gives up her professional work 
after her marriage. 

Against this sacrifice, however, the higher erotic 
idealism has begun to rebel and has, thereby, come 
into conflict with the conservative direction of 
feminism, which while planning to make the wife 
equal to the husband, adheres firmly to the present 
marriage as protection for wife and children. 

It is this point of view that is condemned by the 
new idealism. For it "protection" signifies, in its 
innermost meaning, that the man buys love and 
the woman sells it, which is considered "moral," 
while it is considered immoral for a man to sell 
love and for a woman to buy it. The "protec 
tion" in this relationship has as result that 
the "virtue" of the maid is synonymous with 
untouched sexual nature, and that of the wife, 
with physical fidelity; while the "virtue" of the 
youth and the man is judged from an entirely 
different point of view. 

The relationship affording "protection" has 
also brought with it the idea that a woman could 
not show her love as openly as a man, except when 
he was proud and poor and she was rich. Only 
when the duty of support on the part of the man 
ceases, will woman be able to demand the same 

Its Influence upon Marriage 149 

chastity and fidelity from him as he demands 
from her; she will then be able, quite as proudly 
and naturally as he, to show the flowering of her 
being her love instead of as now increasing 
her demand in the marriage market by artful 
dissimulation. As long as maintenance, within 
or outside of marriage, is the price for "possession" 
of the woman, the man will consider the woman 
as "his," and the more submissive she is the more 
fully she satisfies his feeling of ownership. Now 
marriage has become only an affair of custom, a 
common death or comatose condition, because 
neither party needs trouble himself to keep the 
love of the other. Only when woman, through her 
work, can lead an existence worthy of a human 
being, when no woman will sell her love but every 
woman can freely give it, will man experience 
what perfect womanly devotion is. And when no 
man can "possess" love but must remain worthy 
of love in order to be loved then only will women, 
on their side, experience what tenderness and fine 
feeling masculine devotion can attain. 

This, the purest and warmest erotic idealism, 
is the morality of the future. But the way to its 
realisation is not, as many women believe to-day, 
that mothers, even, should continue their work of 
earning a livelihood, but that way whose direction 
I have elsewhere pointed out. T 

1 See Love and Ethics, Ralph Fletcher Seymour, Chicago, and 
also Mutter und Kind, published in Germany only, Pan-Verlag. 
My plan is a paternity assessment upon society as a contribution 

150 The Woman Movement 

Here we have to do, however, only with the 
spiritual conditions which arise in the marriage of 
to-day, whether the wife has retained her work 
or has given it up. 

Even the cultivated modern man, who brings 

to the maintenance of children and a compensation of mother 
hood by the state. 

Society has already shown by a series of institutions, mater 
nity assurance, infants milk distribution, clothing and feeding 
of children, and many kindred social efforts, that the mainten 
ance afforded by the father is not sufficient for the young genera 
tion; quite as little is the mother s care, which is supplemented 
by other means, creches, etc. But when the child finally becomes 
the unconscious "head of the family," then it will be the affair of 
society to requite maternity. Marriage will then signify only 
the living together of two people upon the ground of love and 
the common parenthood of children. Maternal right will in law 
take the place of paternal right, but in reality the father will con 
tinue to retain all the influence upon the children which he per 
sonally is able to exert, just as has been hitherto the case with 
the mother. 

In such circumstances there will be no more illegitimate child 
ren; no mothers driven out from the care of tender children to 
earn their daily bread ; no fathers who avoid their economic duties 
toward their children, and who cannot be compelled by society 
to perform at least that paternal duty which animals perform 
now better than men: that of contributing their part to the main 
tenance of their progeny. There will be no mothers who for 
the sake of their own and their children s maintenance need to 
stay with a brutal man; no mothers who, in case of a separation, 
can be deprived of their children on any ground except that of 
their own unworthiness. In a word, society must upon a higher 
plane restore the arrangement which is already found in the 
lower stages of civilisation, the arrangement which nature herself 
created: that mother and child are most closely bound together, 
that they together, above all, form the family, in which the 
father enters through the mother s or his own free will. 

Its Influence upon Marriage 151 

to the human personality of his wife admiration 
and sympathy, seeks in her always that "woman 
liness" to which Goethe has given the classic 
expression: the finely reserved, quiet, strong, self- 
contained woman, reposing harmoniously in the 
fulness of her own nature, a maternally lovely 
being, wholly "natural," a "beautiful soul," 
observing, creative, but using these gifts only to 
create a home. These creative offices the modern 
man who loves desires to assure, when he wishes 
to "maintain" his wife, and begs her to abandon 
the outside commercial work in which he foresees 
a danger to the beautiful life together of which 
both dream. The woman who along with her 
new self-conscious individuality and her profound 
culture has guarded the "old" devotion, under 
stands ordinarily this desire of the man. She 
chooses, in spite of her idealism, as he wishes, in 
cases where her work has not been very personal. 
If she has worked in the same field as the man, 
then she converts her gifts into comprehension of 
him, into personal interest for all his interests; 
and these marriages in which the wife has enjoyed 
the same education as the man, but later has de 
voted herself entirely to the home, are, as a rule, 
the happiest marriages of the present time. But 
in the proportion in which her work was creative, 
is the difficulty of the choice. In the case where 
the productive power has the strength of genius, 
the modern man will scarcely utter such a wish and 
in those circumstances the modern woman will 

152 The Woman Movement 

not grant it And because the woman of genius 
is generally a complete human being, with strong 
erotic as well as universal human demands, she 
chooses often compromise. She finds in love, 
in motherhood, new revelations; and in the mys 
terious depths of her nature, the productive element 
of the maternal function has an elevating influence 
upon her gift of creative power. Thus the energy 
temporarily diminished by motherhood is restored. 
And her uneasy conscience, because she must en 
trust to others much of the care and education 
of the children, is appeased by the consciousness 
that she has often given to mankind richer natures, 
and so more significant children, than more devoted 
mothers, and that her own nature, because of the 
double creative activity, has attained a ripeness 
and richness which make her personality more 
significant for husband and children than if she 
had given up her calling to please them. These 
thoughts cannot, however, prevent the daily con 
flict between her feelings of love and the impos 
sibility, in times of strong spiritual production, 
of giving expression to it. The very proximity 
of the children consumes at such times too much 
nervous energy. And since all creation requires 
selfishness in the sense of concentration upon 
one s own needs in order to be able to work creat 
ively and to sink oneself in the work while all 
love s solicitude requires active attention to the 
needs of the loved ones, the conflict must remain 
permanent and insoluble. 

Its Influence upon Marriage 153 

In this conviction, many women of genius choose 
the lesser conflict: marriage without children. 
Such a relationship occurs not infrequently in 
our time in this way : a man of feeling through the 
work of a woman is first moved by her being. 
The man is in that case often the younger or the 
less developed. At first, marriage brings both a 
rich happiness. But later comes a time when the 
power of the personality of the woman of genius 
becomes too strong for the man; when he feels 
himself exhausted by all the sensitiveness and 
impatience which charge the air about a creative 
personality with electricity. He has now had 
enough of the rich spiritual exchange and longs 
for a woman who is only fresh richness, sunny 
quiet, easy docility; the now vanished "ingenue" 
would be the type of woman who most of all 
could entrance him. 

In another case, it is the wife who becomes 
wearied, when the man can no longer keep pace 
with her development nor afford her new inspira 
tion. The erotic life of the woman as well as of 
the man of genius exhibits two phases: in one 
they are attracted by their opposite, in the other 
by a congeniality of souls ; in one phase they have 
sought sentiment, intimacy, nature; in the other, 
soul, passion, culture. The order changes in 
different cases, but the phenomenon repeats 
itself. What both consciously or unconsciously 
desire of love is not another individuality to love 
but only a means of inspiration. 

154 The Woman Movement 

Yet one thing may be emphasised: the richer 
the nature of a woman is and the greater her talents, 
the more life-determining love will be for her; at 
one time making her existence desolate, at another 
time making it fruitful. For the woman of genius 
is less able than the man to renounce her own fate. 
This the man is capable of doing, in the midst of 
passion, without his work suffering thereby in 
vigour and strength; the woman on the contrary 
even the genius loses more easily her creative 
impulse in happiness, her creative power in un- 

In this connection it may be recalled that many 
of the most gifted, most highly developed woman 
personalities of to-day have produced nothing, 
but have been what a Frenchman has called "les 
grandes inspiratrices." These have not, indeed, 
like the "Ladies" of the Middle Ages, been wor 
shipped at a distance by knights and poets; but 
they have had an influence similar to that of 
Beatrice, through the power of communication 
of their rich personality in a relationship which 
had now the character of an "amitie amoureuse," 
now that of a love imbued with sympathy, which 
in some cases, infrequently however, led to mar 
riage. I need only mention the name Richard 
Wagner for the forms of two such women to ap 
pear, one of whom, who was his wife, surpassed 
in personal greatness all independently creative 
women of her time. But there have always been 
less unusual women who had significance as pro- 

Its Influence upon Marriage 155 

pagandists of the ideas of a great man through 
their specifically feminine gifts of convincing, of 
diffusing ideas, of modifying views, etc. If the 
future, because of the wife s zeal for production 
on her own part, should lose this element of cul 
ture, it would be deplorable. 

One of the favourite arguments of the woman 
movement has been that two married people 
working in the same profession had the best op 
portunities for understanding each other and 
consequently also for being happy. And truly 
they can best talk shop with each other. But 
that is what the working man needs least of all 
in his home ; there he seeks rather relaxation from 
his calling, or at least a quite disinterested, im 
mediate sympathy with its annoyances or joys. 
When one of the married fellow workmen needs 
exactly this sympathy, the other is perhaps busy 
or too tired to be capable of such lively interest 
as the other expects. Or one has experienced 
disappointments, the other joys, and then a real 
sympathy is still more difficult. To these cross 
ings of mood is added also the unintentional, in 
voluntary competition, which the similarity of 
vocation brings with it. The wife gains patients, 
the husband does not; his picture is praised, hers 
is pulled to pieces; she comes home from the 
theatre victorious, he after a defeat. During 
work, the criticism of one often disturbs the other ; 
after the work, the criticism of the press disturbs 
the harmony of both. Love wishes to fuse them 

156 The Woman Movement 

into one being, the outer world compels them 
always to feel themselves separate. In the begin 
ning they think: "Nothing can come between 
us." But if both do not possess a rare tenderness 
as well as rare fineness of soul, soon needles of ice 
fly through the air between them. Only when the 
wife, as is the case so often in France, puts her 
ability into her husband s affairs does this common 
interest prevent rivalry. 

Whether the province of the husband and wife 
is the same or not, difficulty always results from 
the wife s commercial or professional work in that 
she rarely finds a good substitute for the domestic 
and maternal duties. And when the husband 
sees the house badly managed and the children 
ill-bred, he tries according to his strength to 
render assistance or, as more frequently happens, 
seeks his comfort outside the home. But even 
if these stumbling-blocks may be cleared away by 
other feminine hands, the fact still remains that 
the wife because of her work must demand sacri 
fices on the part of the man such as his work has 
required at all times from the wife. She is often 
compelled to forego much of the society of her 
husband, of his solicitude and tenderness because 
he has no available time. Now each of the married 
people has consideration for the leisure of the 
other and for all other severe conditions of the 
work. But beside these favourable results stands 
also the detrimental fact that each suppresses his 
claims upon the sympathy of the other, as well 

Its Influence upon Marriage 157 

as the wish to express his own, whenever this 
receiving and giving would interfere with the 
work. If this has become for one or for both a 
real passion, then the passion blinds him to every 
thing that does not concern the work, and causes 
alternately joy or suffering. Each of the married 
couple then disturbs the other by moods, and 
each needs to be cherished by the other. The 
tenderness which neither can give to the other, 
they find perhaps in a third. 

But in those cases where the work is not passion 
ately absorbing or where both husband and wife 
are persons of understanding, rather than of feeling, 
marriages of colleagues turn out well. Each has 
in the other an intelligent, appreciative friend; 
the common work together is rich, and neither 
gives nor requires more than the other is able to 
reciprocate. The education of the wife makes her 
a good organiser in the home, which is comfort 
able without the work s suffering thereby. When 
this is not too strenuous for either, but after the 
close of a reasonable working time, the two meet 
spiritually free in the home, the duties of which 
they often share then the domestic life is happy 
and the work progresses easily, as long as there 
are no children. When children arrive, then there 
begins for the wife, even in such marriages, a life 
beyond her strength. 

But since nature, in the interest of the race, 
often makes opposites attractive to each other, 
one may find a husband, full of feeling, who loves 

158 The Woman Movement 

children, united to a wife for whom science is the 
greatest value of life, while she relegates feeling 
to a lower plane and considers motherhood an 
animal function. In place of the tenderness and 
of the children for which the husband longed, he 
has to participate in the victories and defeats of 
a woman of science. Or we see a wife who dreamed 
of an intimate life with her husband and who 
sacrificed her work to it; but the life together 
was wrecked upon the husband s artist concentra 
tion, and the wife had to suffer under a twofold 
emptiness: the lack of her work and the lack of 
happiness. Then one sees instances where the 
wife retained her work because it was economically 
necessary and because she hoped out of the rich 
ness of her young strength to be able to fulfil all 
duties. And all this she was able to do except 
one thing to preserve under the excessive strain 
her beauty, her power of charm, the elasticity of 
her nature. Perhaps she belonged to the very 
highest among the new women who are so undi 
vided, so proud, who think so highly of themselves, 
of man, of love, that they are beyond a wholly 
justified coquetry and rest blindly upon the unit 
ing power of spiritual congeniality. But the day 
comes perhaps when these strong and, in all other 
respects, wise women have nothing other than 
freedom to give to the man whose senses, whose 
fancy, need that charm which the wife no longer 
possesses. In case, however, the man s nature is 
not of those for whom the silken threads of daily 

Its Influence upon Marriage 159 

domestic comfort form the strong band, but on 
the contrary is of the sort which needs renewal, 
then the very absence of the wife, occasioned tem 
porarily by the work, can keep the relationship 
long fresh. This is upon the assumption that she 
understands what some of these women do not 
understand: to give, but in such a way that the 
man always longs for more; to remain sweetheart, 
not only friend; to be able to jest, not only to 
talk seriously. The modern wife of to-day, 
tested upon so many subjects, is often deeply 
mistaken in regard to the kind of "ministry" the 
man needs. The simple wisdom of their grand 
mothers consisted in this: to give much and to 
require nothing, always to subordinate themselves 
to the man with gentleness and humility, never 
to assert themselves before him as a free, self- 
determining personality. The wives of to-day, 
sacredly convinced of the right and freedom of 
women, succeed better in asserting their per 
sonality than in pleasing their husbands, and the 
quantity of their demands is often more noteworthy 
than the quality of their gifts. That many 
modern marriages turn out well shows that the 
adaptability of the modern husband is beginning 
to be even as great as that of the wife in former 
times ! 

The marriage is absolutely wrecked when the 
wife brings to it all the new demands of woman, 
but the husband all the primeval instincts of his 
sex. What in each sex relationship most inti- 

160 The Woman Movement 

mately unites or most deeply sunders is and re 
mains the erotic depth of nature in each. And the 
difference in this respect between the men and 
women of the present ever more widely separates 
them, and this division becomes fatal to innumer 
able individual lovers of to-day, as well as for the 
attitude of the sexes toward marriage in general. 
The erotically symmetrical woman views with 
hostility the dualism in the erotic nature of the 
modern man. This dualism evinces itself, with 
innumerable nuances it is true, in three typical 
ways : infinite erotic discussion, but inability to be 
stirred by it either with the soul or with the senses ; 
ability to love only with the senses, not with the 
soul; and finally looking down upon the senses 
and desiring "spiritual love" only. For the 
modern completely developed woman the chat 
tering vacuity, the animal instinct, the ascetic 
spirituality, are equally repellent. And yet it 
happens that the rosy mist of love can bring such 
a woman to a point where she creates for herself 
an illusion out of one of the above mentioned types. 
Most frequently this occurs in the case of the 
vigorous man who divines nothing of the spiritual 
content of the woman whose outer appearance 
has charmed him. The tragedy of the modern 
woman is then like that which Hebbel has revealed 
in Judith, that the sex being in her is attracted 
by the muscular masculinity, which her human 
personality hates as her mortal enemy. For as a 
personality she admires in man only the spiritual 

Its Influence upon Marriage 161 

strength of the man. The man on his part regrets 
his mistake that he did not choose a pretty amiable 
girl "of the old sort," who would punctually lay 
his table and willingly share his bed; a woman 
"into whose head Ibsen had put no fancies," who 
"had not allowed herself to be talked into some 
folly by feminism." 

Among such "follies," similar men, and many 
others as well, include the demand advanced by 
the woman movement for the married woman s 
property right, as well as a specified income for 
the wife working in the home, who however has 
to contribute from her property or her "remuner 
ation" as housekeeper to the common household 
a corollary which is always forgotten by the 
antifeminist writers who assert that "the man 
becomes a slave when he has to work for the whole, 
but the wife may retain everything of hers." 

The modern woman who before her marriage 
was independent, owing to her work, abhors the 
thought of a request for money this most painful 
moment even in the happiest marriages to so 
great a degree that this aversion determines the 
wife in some cases to keep up her own work. If 
on the contrary she has given this up, the con 
sciousness of her earlier independence makes her 
often so sensitive that she feels herself injured by 
a protest however delicate in regard to the ex 
penditure of money. More than one man has 

1 62 The Woman Movement 

regretted, in consequence of the unreasonable 
demands of his wife, that he ever begged her to 
give up her own work. There are women, on the 
other hand, who continue their work and thereby 
only increase the incapability of a good-for- 
nothing man. In such cases, it avails little that 
in many countries the law now allows the wife 
free disposal of the income from her labour. Not 
withstanding this, the assertion is ridiculous that 
"if the man drinks up the money of his wife it 
is with her consent," and "it is therefore of no 
avail to alter the law." For it makes a significant 
difference in the relative position of the man and 
wife whether the law gives him the right to it, or 
whether he takes it by force. But in this as in 
other cases, the woman movement obviously 
cannot free women so long as they are impelled 
by unconscious forces from within to actions and 
sacrifices at variance with their conscious person 
ality. The one thing which the woman movement 
has already achieved and can continue to achieve, 
is that the undue encroachment of the men ceases 
to have legal protection. 

It is undeniable, on the other hand, that the 
unmarried woman s personal and economic inde 
pendence fashions wives who in marriage show 
themselves in a high degree egotistic, but who yet 
incessantly scold about man s egotism, wives who 
themselves exhibit very little devotion and fine 
feeling, but place very great importance upon 
consideration. These wives were the ones whom 

Its Influence upon Marriage 163 

fifty years ago men called "graters." But the 
lack of amiability, which in certain women was 
usually due to childbirth, has nevertheless in 
modern woman, at least during the freedom of her 
girlhood, been unrestrained habit. Her firm 
and just decision not to be "subservient" to 
her husband has resulted in, first, an armed peace, 
later, a war, in which the wife s work is one of the 
projectiles. "I have my work, why should I stay 
here to be used up and tormented?" she asks 
herself. And when such questions begin, there 
is usually but one answer. 

There is one decided advantage in giving to the 
woman the opportunity to earn her living : she has 
again acquired thereby significance in the home, 
while the generation of women, who neither co 
operated productively in the home nor assumed all 
the duties of the mother, were regarded by man 
with less respect than, on the one side, their 
grandmothers who produced all of the household 
requisites, on the other side, their now independent 
self-supporting granddaughters. Only when so 
ciety recompenses the vocation of mother, can woman 
find in this a full equivalent for self-supporting 

Another typical group of our time is formed by 
the numerous women for whom no choice remains 
in regard to their work, since it is of a kind that 
they must give up because of the removal to an 
other place, or more frequently because they 
find so much work in the new home that every 

164 The Woman Movement 

thought of anything further outside must cease. 
Those who think that industry has made the work 
of the wife in the home to-day superfluous, speak 
only of the great cities, and usually only of opulent 
families in the great cities, where they are in a posi 
tion to buy cheaper everything that the labour of 
the wife could produce. But in the country, 
among all classes, the mother must be the director 
of the work ; and in all country homes in moderate 
circumstances as in countless poor or not very 
well-to-do city families the work of the mother is 
still frequently indispensable, and in addition is 
more economical than her earnings out of the 
house could be, especially since the developed 
modern woman is usually capable of a more 
rational housekeeping than the woman of earlier 

But while the mothers of that time knew nothing 
except housework, those of to-day have often, as 
unmarried and self-supporting women, enjoyed a 
freedom of movement and opportunities of de 
velopment which, now that they are over-burdened 
with household cares, they may seriously miss. 
The work of the mother is now still further in 
creased by the difficulty of getting servants 
at least capable ones and also by the demands of 
luxury. The result of this again is that hospitality 
in the home decreases, that the watchword of the 
time, "the windows of the house wide open to 
the world, fresh air in the home, no creeping into 
the chimney corner," is so interpreted that warmth 

Its Influence upon Marriage 165 

and intimacy vanish. Yes, the overworked 
mother often herself insists that the family leave 
the house and seek some place of recreation for 
the annual festivals, which were once the children s 
happiest and brightest recollections of home. 

The fact that most modern women of culture 
devote themselves to some branch of social work, 
often to several, contributes still further to the 
over-exertion of the mother. Even when this 
occurs from pure altruism, the motive cannot 
prevent such altruism from becoming sometimes 
a disease of which one may die quite as surely 
as of other diseases. This death is quite as 
immoral as any other resulting from neglected 
hygiene. No one has the right to perish from 
altruism, except when destruction is the condition 
of his fulfilling his duty. But in many cases 
the occasion is the widely ramified social activity 
of the woman for .whom the home now often falls 
short; not a result of altruism, but a mani 
festation of that desire for power which once 
was satisfied in the family. Or it may be a 
form of the hysteria characteristic of the present 
time. In the sixteenth century, the hysterical 
were burned as witches; now they "sacrifice" 
themselves to an activity which offers them in 
reality the variety, the intoxication of publicity 
in a word, the life stimulus they need. But 
even sound, sincere, and conscientious women are 
driven by the woman movement and by social 
work to assume pseudo duties, for which the real 

i66 The Woman Movement 

duties are pushed aside. If instead of instituting 
official inquiries among wives and mothers as to 
what they can accomplish, one should direct the 
same questions to their husbands and children, 
these would, if they dared be honest, testify that 
they must pay the price for the altruistic activity. 

Since the work of married women outside the 
home, the woman movement, and the social work 
began, one seldom finds a wholly sound, joyous, 
harmonious wife and mother. The constant 
complaint of the modern woman is that she 
"never has time." The minority who live a 
life of luxury, wholly free from work, while the 
husband works feverishly to provide the luxury 
which neither will forego, telephone away a quarter 
of the day making appointments concerning the 
toilette, visits, and amusements, which take up 
the remaining three quarters of the day. And 
others, loaded down with household work or 
divided between this and work for their livelihood, 
how shall they find time ! 

Least of all have they the time necessary for 
the countless little tokens of tenderness which 
intensify all relationships between people. A 
French mother who became a widow and brought 
up her children by means of her own work received 
from her son, grown to a youth, the judgment: 
"Thou hast never loved us." Too late, it became 
clear to her that "it requires time to love," that 
it is not enough to feel love, and, looked at as a 
whole, to act with love no, love must be ex- 

Its Influence upon Marriage 167 

pressed. And for this the harassed mother of 
to-day lacks time and quiet. 

Formerly, it was only the husband and father 
who had no time; the wife and mother had it and 
could thus preserve the warmth of the home. 
But now? 

There are now, it is true, many women with so 
few claims that they think they have fulfilled 
the fourfold task. In reality, they have fulfilled 
all their duties imperfectly, or eliminated one task 
for a time in order to be able to accomplish the 
others. No woman has ever been at the same time 
all that a wife can be to her husband, a mother to 
her children, a housewife to her house, a working 
woman to her work. In the last capacity the 
difficulty of the married woman is still further 
increased by the present competition, as also by 
the fact that the better a person works the more 
work falls to her, so that an exact and reasonable 
division of time between work and home is often 
rendered quite impossible. 

In addition to all these difficulties arising 
through actualities, there are finally also those 
evoked by the "spirit of the time." A wife has, 
for example, decided to give up a vocation which 
she saw was not compatible with her home. But 
she stills finds no rest. She is harassed by the 
demand of the "spirit of the time" that a married 
woman should be able to take care of the house 
as well as to accomplish outside personal work. 
The husband, also influenced by the "spirit of 

i68 The Woman Movement 

the time," thinks the same or feels painfully the 
fact that his wife, for love of him, has sacrificed 
the exercise of a talent, in which he perhaps has 
felt a personal interest; the longing for the voca 
tion awakens in her, and she resumes her work, 
with the result that, if she has energetically resisted 
the lassitude that comes with beginning mother 
hood, she and the child must suffer later. Or 
she lives in a permanent state of over-exertion 
which finally culminates in nervous conditions 
under which the whole family must share her 
suffering. Had she been able to follow in peace 
her instinct to strike deep root in the home soil 
and to enlarge and enrich her being by the annual 
growth of ring after ring of her production of love, 
then the essential values would have been in 
creased for all. Now, she is led astray by a biased 
opinion of the time, which owes its effectiveness 
to the single fact that the opinionated resolutely 
turn their back upon all facts. 

Thanks to these ideas of the time propagated 
by certain feminists, we see increasing numbers 
of women who perform their "social duty" as the 
telegraph poles perform their function; while 
such duty could have been fulfilled as the tree 
grows in a garden : blooming, fruit-bearing, joyful, 



BECAUSE it has increased the culture of woman 
and her feeling of personal responsibility, the 
woman movement has had its influence, both 
directly and indirectly, upon the postponement 
of the legal and customary marriage age. Since 
young girls have exercised their brains as much 
as the boys have, they are no longer so far in 
advance of the boys in physical development. 
But when modern girls finish their studies they 
are physically as well as psychically more univer 
sally developed than their grandmothers were. 
They know much more of the difficulties and 
realities of life, not least of the sexual life. And 
this knowledge has instilled in them a reluctance 
to undertake too early the serious and difficult 
task of motherhood. They have greater need of 
truth and culture, and less tendency to erotic 
visionary dreaming than girls of their age in the 
middle of the previous century; their desire for 
work and their social feeling fix goals, and they 
work with all their might to attain them. And 


170 The Woman Movement 

because, as already explained, both sexes have for 
each other a more many-sided attraction than the 
merely erotic, young people are more careful, more 
choice, in their erotic decisions. The finest young 
girls of to-day are penetrated by the Nietzschean 
idea, that marriage is the combined will of two 
people to create a new being greater than them 
selves. But their joy does not consist in the fact 
" that the man wills " ; they are themselves "will," 
and above all they have the will to choose the right 
father for their children, not only for their own 
sake but for the sake of the children. 

If it be true that immediate, "blind," erotic 
attraction is most instinctively correct in choice, 
then the present comrade life of young people and 
the increased clear-sightedness which it gives, as 
well as the increasing erotic idealism of young 
girls, are not unconditionally advantageous to the 
new race. The question is, however, still undecided. 
Here it may only be emphasised that the young 
girl of to-day, in spite of all intellectual develop 
ment, is still won always by powerful spiritual- 
sensual love, which the woman movement has too 
long considered as a negligible quantity. Under 
the influence of the doctrine of evolution, young 
girls begin to understand that their value as mem 
bers of society depends essentially upon their value 
for the propagation of mankind ; all the more they 
realise the duty of physical culture which will 
enable them to fulfil this function better ; they no 
longer consider their erotic longing as impure and 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 171 

ugly but as pure and beautiful. It is out of this 
soul condition that the different movements for 
the protection of mothers and children, theo 
retically considered, have proceeded. These are 
at present the most important "woman move 
ments," although unrecognised by the older woman 
movement. And this older movement has not yet 
recognised the fact that, because of present mar 
riage conditions, the degenerate, uneducated, de 
crepit, have greater opportunity for propagating 
the race, both within and outside of marriage, than 
the young, sound, pure-minded, and loving; that 
it can therefore be no sin, from the point of view of 
the race, if the latter become parents without 
marriage, nor should it be a subject of shame from 
the social point of view. All women s rights have 
little value, until this one thing is attained: that 
a woman who through her illegitimate motherhood 
has lost nothing of her personal worth, but on the 
contrary has proved it, does not forfeit social 

Our time can point to women who have been 
typical of the reform tendencies of the century 
in this respect. Some of these women, if they 
really accomplished the unprecedented task of "a 
child and a work," have drawn their strength 
for the task out of precisely the commonplace, 
homely qualities and sterling virtues, contrary 
to which they believed they were acting when 
they became mothers, driven by a power greater 
than their conscious personality. Others again 

172 The Woman Movement 

became mothers with the consent of their whole 
personality. They were clear that they thus 
made use of the masculine rights and freedom 
which feminism first brought home to women. 
And although many advocates of women s rights 
refrain from such consequences of their ideas, the 
women who in other respects determine their 
conduct of life by their own free personal choice 
recognise that this, their real "emancipation," is 
a fruit of the woman movement. 

In Europe, however, most women under thirty 
still dare to dream of motherhood in a love mar 
riage as the greatest happiness and the highest 
duty of life. x 

But, as direct and indirect result of the woman 
movement, the fact none the less remains that 
there is found among women an increasing dis- 

1 An inquiry instituted among English women as to whether 
they would prefer to be men or women gave as a result the fact 
that, out of about 7000 who answered, two-thirds wished to 
remain women and this above all in order to be mothers, while a 
third wished to be men. This indicated probably the highest 
figure of the disinclination for maternity which such a European 
inquiry could elicit. But even these women who wish to marry 
and to become mothers feel the pressure of the idea created by 
the zealots of the woman movement which finds expression often 
in the following conversation between two former schoolmates 
about a third: "And A what is she doing now?" "Noth 
ing she is married and has children. " 

The old folk legend about the girl who trampled on the bread 
she was carrying to her mother because she wished to go dry-shod, 
can serve as symbol of many modern women zealots: life s great, 
sound values are offered for the meal ; vanity sits down alone to 
partake of them. 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 173 

inclination for maternity, a reluctance which de 
prives mankind of many superior mothers, while 
at the same time woman s commercial work for 
self-support in all classes increases her sterility or 
makes her incapable of the suckling so vitally 
important for the children. 

That the modern woman, because of individual 
fate or her own choice, often remains unmarried is 
no danger in and for itself. This fact, as I have 
emphasised above, is connected with a number of 
cultural and material conditions, which sometime 
will be altered, and then woman s desire for mar 
riage will again increase. The real danger has ap 
peared only since women have begun to strengthen 
the tendency to celibacy by the amaternal theory, 
which now confuses the feminine brain and leads 
the feminine instinct astray. 

The woman movement in and with this influence 
upon maternity sinks to the lowest point of the 
scale according to the criterion of worth employed 
here : the elevation of the life of the individual and 
of the race. In this we stand in our time before 
a twofold mystery, which lies in the circumstance 
that not only women women "with breasts made 
right to suckle babes" emphasise this stultifying 
influence, but that there are men, each the son 
of a mother, who also propagate it. These men 
have allowed themselves to be blinded by the false 
logic concerning women, which declares that since 
rich mothers do not wish to fulfil the duties of a 
mother and the poor cannot fulfil them, superior 

174 The Woman Movement 

social organisations must be created for that pur 
pose; in other words, instigated by a mere tem 
porary unpleasant discrepancy, we will create a 
new, a different order of things. But, if this 
obtained universally, it would inflict incomparably 
greater injury upon mankind than do present 
unhappy conditions. 

Upon the whole, however, it is precisely as a 
result of this tendency that the deepest hostility 
of men against feminism has developed. The fact 
that the idea of evolution is now beginning to enter 
into the flesh and blood of man also contributes 
its share to this feeling. Just as formerly a man 
wished heirs for his personal and real estate and 
for his name, he now desires inheritors of his 
being; he desires an eternal life, which becomes a 
certainty only by means of parenthood, whereby 
the individual as father or mother lives on physi 
cally and spiritually, in body and soul, in his child 
ren and grandchildren down to the last of his 
descendants. This conception has made the sex 
instinct again holy, as it was for the pagans. This 
new reverence for their duty as beings of sex now 
induces many young men to guard their sexual 
health and strength by an asceticism the motive of 
which is the exact opposite of that which deter 
mined the asceticism called forth by Christianity, 
the asceticism which was fear of the sex instinct 
as impure and as a temptation to sin. Now the 
innermost aim of young men s creative desire is 
the higher development of mankind. Love be- 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 175 

comes for them the condition by which they can 
most perfectly redeem their religious certainty of 
being part of a great design, their religious longing 
for harmony with life s creative desire, with the 

There are now men who work most zealously 
for the ennoblement of the race "eugenics," as 
this effort is called in England as well as for the 
protection of mother and child "puericulture, " 
as this endeavour is called in France. There are 
men who write excellent works upon the psychol 
ogy of the child, and upon sexual instruction ; men, 
who, in art and poetry, give expression to the 
new veneration for the sanctity of generation, for 
motherhood, for the child. The finest thing writ 
ten about the child as a cultural power is written 
by an American. 1 Painting has now new devo 
tional pictures of the Mother with her Child, 
especially those conceived by a Frenchman and an 
Italian. 2 The most beautiful representation of 
youth s new desire for love is by a German sculp 
tor. Likewise a German, Nietzsche, has the 
most profound conception of parenthood and 
education as the means whereby humanity will 
cross over the bridge of the men of to-day to the 

Only when all this is realised can one conceive 
what the feelings of these new men must be when 
they meet those new women "who are no longer 

1 Bret Harte, The Luck of Roaring Camp, 

* E. Carri&re and Segantini. Max Kruse, Liebesgruppe. 

176 The Woman Movement 

willing to be slaves of the instinct for the propaga 
tion of the race"; who see in motherhood "a loss 
of time from their work"; "an attack upon their 
beauty"; an obstacle to the refined conduct of 
life; a conduct of life certain to debase woman s 
worth as a child-bearing being, but to elevate her 
to that exquisite, perfect product of culture, a 
"woman of the world"; an obstacle also for 
woman as creator of other objective cultural 
values. If a man with a father s desires finds 
himself united with such a woman, he finds him 
self in marriage quite as much a prostitute as 
innumerable wives have felt themselves to be 
when they were mere tools of a man s desire. On 
the contrary the desire for the elevation of man 
kind on the part of the new woman and the new 
man, is evinced in the idea that not the quantity 
but the quality of the children they give to human 
ity is most significant; that a land of fewer but 
more perfect men is a higher culture ideal than the 
principle still always maintained from the point of 
view of national competition, that the inhabitants 
of a country must only be numerous however 
inferior they may be. 

To this wholly new evolutionary conception of 
life the amaternal women oppose the following 
train of thought which greatly influences the feel 
ing and desire of women to-day l : 

1 This amaternal idea is advanced with great ability in some 
works of Charlotte Perkins Stetson and Rosa Mayreder. The 
word amaternal coined by me is used to characterise the theory 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 177 

Culture now sets new duties for woman, more 
significant than exclusively natural ones. The 
more the individual life increases in value, the 
more the interest for the mere functions of sex 
declines, and with it also the value of woman as 
woman for a society where, because of motherhood, 
she has become a being of secondary rank. It 
evinces lack of ideality if one censures this tend 
ency of the modern woman to renounce maternity 
for the sake of more spiritual interests. While 
the mother concentrates herself upon her own 
child only, the woman who renounces motherhood 
can extend her being to embrace children as 
children in general. As a mother, woman is only 
a being of nature. But the personality, with its 
multiplicity of feelings and endeavours, demands 
an independent activity as well as maternity. 

To put her entire personality into the education 
of her children is a twofold error. First and fore 
most, most mothers are bad educators and serve 
their children better if they entrust them to a born 
teacher ; in the second place, gifted children educate 

subsequently advanced, because the word unmaternal (un- 
motherly) signifies a spiritual condition, the antithesis to "mother- 
liness. " The maternal as opposed to the amaternal theory is 
this: that a woman s life is lived most intensively and most 
extensively, most individually and most socially; she is for her 
own part most free, and for others most fruitful, most egoistic 
and most altruistic, most receptive and most generous, in and 
with the physical and psychic exercise of the function of maternity, 
because of the conscious desire, by means of this function, to uplift 
the life of the race as well as her own life. 

178 The Woman Movement 

themselves best and should be spared all educa 
tional arts. The mediocre child, who is more sus 
ceptible to education, has ordinarily also only 
mediocre parents, who likewise benefit the children 
most if they put them in the care of excellent 
teachers. Children who are below mediocrity can 
also be best educated by specialists. So there 
remains for the mother, after the first years care 
and training, no especial task as educator, at least 
none in which she can really put her personality. 
To talk to a mother about the possibilities of a 
richer office of mother, as educator of her children, 
she calls lulling her into an illusion under which 
she must labour only to suffer. A woman who can 
exercise her personality in another way should 
not therefore put it into the education of her 

The amaternal advocates deny that motherli- 
ness is the criterion of womanliness ; they find this 
criterion in the form, the external being of woman, 
in her manner and physical appearance in a word, 
in the outer expression of the inner disposition, 
which they deny as typical of womanliness! 
"Womanliness" is thus reduced to an "aesthetic 
principle," while woman s spiritual attributes are 
considered as "universally human"; and the right 
is granted to the feminine sex to emancipate her 
self from the result of the heresy that motherliness 
should be the ethical norm for the "being" or 
"essence" of womanhood. The suitability of 
woman s psychic constitution for her work as 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 179 

mother is not acknowledged as proof that mother- 
liness is the distinguishing characteristic of woman 
liness. For this constitution is less conspicuous 
in the higher stages of differentiation. Its suita 
bility was then a phenomenon of adaptation and 
changed with the conditions of life. Thus this 
constitution cannot be cited as a reason for limit 
ing woman s personal exercise of her powers. 
Motherliness is no social instinct. How can 
motherliness, which we have in common with 
beasts and savages, be considered as higher than, 
for example, justice, truth, and other gradually 
won spiritual values, which woman can promote 
by her personal activity? The higher the forms 
of life woman attains, the less will her personality 
be determined by motherliness. Why then should 
women bring to the domestic life the sacrifice of 
their personality, while no one demands this of 
men? Why shall not woman, just as man, satisfy 
her demands as a sex-being in marriage and, as for 
the rest, follow her profession, attend to her 
spiritual development, her social tasks? Why con 
demn woman to remain a half -being that is, with 
unexercised brain only because certain of her 
instincts attract her to man, while he is not con 
strained to suppress his personality because he 
in like manner felt himself attracted to woman? 
It is the old superstition of the family life as 
"woman s sphere," which still confuses the con 
ception. By the present form of family life 
woman is "oversexed." Her higher development, 

i8o The Woman Movement 

as well as that of her husband and children, will 
be promoted if woman guards her independence 
by earning her own living, in commercial work 
conducted beyond the portal of the home; if 
housekeeping becomes co-operative; if the educa 
tion of the children is carried on outside the home, 
in which now the motherly tenderness emasculates 
the children and fosters in them family sentiment 
of an egoistic nature and not social feelings. Thus 
are solved the difficulties which are entailed when 
the wife s work is carried on outside the home; 
equipoise between her intellectual and emotional, 
her sexual and social nature follows, and her worth, 
as that of a man, will be measured by her human 
personality, not by her womanliness, her efficacy 
in the family, for the exercise of which she is now 
constrained to renounce her personality. 

So runs in brief the programme of the amaternals. 

It has already been indicated that the woman 
movement, in its inception, could gather strength 
only by combating with all its power the prejudice 
that woman is incapable of the same kind of activity 
as man. But now the whole woman movement 
has for a long time been emphasising the fact that 
woman is entitled, not only on her own behalf but 
more especially in her capacity as homekeeper, 
wife, and mother, to the full development of her 
powers and to equality with man in the family and 
in society. In the amaternal programme sketched 
above, however, the fanaticism, which charater- 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 181 

ised the entire woman movement a generation ago, 
now evinces itself in the error that equal rights for 
the sexes must mean also equal functions; that the 
development of women s powers involves also their 
application in the same spheres of activity in 
which man is engaged; that equality of the sexes 
implies sameness of the sexes. While moderate 
feminism begins to see that, if man and wife com 
pete, this rivalry can benefit 1 neither the woman, 
the man, nor the children, amaternal feminism 
urges the keenest competition. And if this is 
once accepted as advantageous to woman s per 
sonality and to society, then it is obvious that she 
must, with all the energy of the attacked, defend 
herself from the duties of maternity, because of 
which she would obviously come off second-best 
in the competition. 

From the point of view of individualism it is 
obvious that the law must set no limitations to 
woman s practice of a vocation, unless evident 
hygienic dangers menace either her or the coming 
generation. Women must, for their own sake as 
well as for that of society, have free choice of work, 
for life and nature possess innumerable unforeseen 
possibilities. Nevertheless, it does happen that 
a woman who gives superior children to humanity 
may, nevertheless, feel herself incapable of educat- 

* It can even be shown that, if man invades the so-called 
woman s spheres (for example the art of cooking or of dress 
making), it is most frequently he who makes new discoveries and 
attains great success ! 


ing them; likewise it sometimes happens that a 
husband and wife who have exceptional children, 
cannot endure to live together. In neither case 
has law or custom a right to force upon a mother 
or a father a yoke that is intolerable or to demand 
of a mother or a father unreasonable sacrifices. 

But the right to limit the choice of work, the 
law does not possess; nature assumes that right 
herself : first of all from the axiom that no one can 
be in two places at the same time, and in the second 
place because no one can respond simultaneously 
and with full energy to two different spiritual 
activities. One cannot, for example, count even 
to one hundred and at a certain number give a 
simple grasp of the hand without suspending the 
counting momentarily. Although no one has 
ever been denied the privilege of solving a mathe 
matical problem and of following carefully at the 
same time a piece of music, yet it is certain that 
the effectiveness of both intellectual activities 
would be thereby diminished. These extremely 
simple observations can be continued until the 
most complex are reached. If the observation be 
directed to the sphere of domestic life, every wife 
and mother who is willing to institute impartial 
observations of self, will affirm the difficulty of 
working with a divided mind. 

If a mother carries on her work at home and 
must put it away in order to be beside the sick-bed 
of her child, or to make those arrangements which 
assure domestic comfort, or to help her husband, 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 183 

then she feels that her book or her picture suffers, 
that the activity which binds her more intimately 
to the home relaxes for a time the intimacy of her 
connection with her work. One can by day carry 
on a dull industrial task, and by night produce an 
achievement of the soul; but one cannot let one s 
soul radiate in one direction without impairing 
its energy in another. A work needs exclusive 
devotion. And this is, viewed externally, difficult 
to attain in joint action; viewed from within, it 
requires a renunciation that in the case of a loving 
soul evokes a continual inner struggle. For that 
reason, also, literature with woman as its subject 
has for some decades been filled with the great 
conflict of modern woman s life: the conflict be 
tween vocation and parents, between vocation 
and husband, between vocation and child. Cer 
tainly the family has often been a torture cham 
ber for individuality, as a consequence of laws and 
customs, which the future will regard as we now 
do the rack and the thumbscrew. But nature is 
more severe than law and custom when she con 
fronts us with a choice which, however it may 
turn out, tears a piece from our heart. 

And now neither custom nor man demands of 
woman the "sacrifice of the personality." This 
sacrifice is required only by the law of limitations 
which rules over us all. 

The creative man or the man working objectively 
must often condemn the emotional side of his per 
sonality to a partial development ; he must for the 

1 84 The Woman Movement 

sake of his work renounce many family values im 
portant for this emotional side of his being. Even 
if shorter working hours could partially diminish 
this cultural offering, the inner conflict, for the 
man or the woman, is not settled thereby. 

Even if a man, in the consciousness of his wife s 
endowment of talent, assumed a number of do 
mestic duties, especially those pertaining to the 
children, the inner conflict would still continue. 
And this conflict is in no way solved by the amater- 
nal theory that the personal life must be placed 
above the instinct life. For, as has been empha 
sised, the choice is not between the personal and the 
instinct life, but between the intellectual and 
the emotional side of woman s personality. And 
the solution of this choice has not been discovered 
by the amaternals, who would combine commercial 
work with marriage and maternity. Women who 
remain unmarried or who give up commercial ac 
tivity which they cannot carry on in the; home, 
have not settled the conflict either, but have only 
reduced its difficulties. 

The fundamental error of the amaternal solution 
of the problem is that it characterises motherliness 
as a non-social instinct, but, on the other hand, 
defines the "personal" activity of woman as an 
expression of the social instinct. For all social 
instincts have been developed by culture out of 
primitive instincts. All cultural development lies 
between the sex impulse of the Australian negress 
and the erotic sentiment of Elizabeth Barrett 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 185 

Browning s sonnets. And when the amaternals 
assert that motherliness, which "we have in com 
mon with beasts and savages," cannot be an 
expression of the personality, their argument has 
the same validity as that which would deny to the 
Sistine Chapel the quality of an expression of 
personality because beasts and savages also exhibit 
the decorative instinct. 

The development of the mother instinct into 
motherliness is one of the greatest achievements 
in the progress of culture, a development by which // 
the maternal functions have continually become 
more complex and differentiated. Already in the 
case of the higher animals maternity involves much 
more than the mere act of giving birth ; an animal 
not only faces death for her young, she gives them 
also a training which often indicates power of 
judgment. A cat, for instance, which sought in 
vain to prevent her kitten from entering the water 
and which finally threw the kitten in and then 
pulled it out, thus obtaining the desired result of 
her pedagogy, had not, as have so many modern 
mothers, read Spencer, but could, nevertheless, 
put many of these mothers to shame. Even the 
initial maternal functions, nursing and physical 
care, involve a culture of the spiritual life of the 
mother, not only through an increase in tenderness, 
but also in observation, discrimination, judgment, 
self-control; a woman s character often develops 
more in a month during which she is occupied with 
the care of children, than in years of professional 

1 86 The Woman Movement 

work. Mother love and the reciprocal love which 
it awakens in the child, not only exercise the first 
deep influence upon the individual s life of feeling, 
but this love is the first form of the law of mutual 
help it is the root of altruism, the cotyledon of a now 
widely ramified tree of "social instincts." 

Although woman through the mere physical 
functions of motherhood makes a great social 
contribution, the importance of her contribution 
is greatly enhanced if one also takes into considera 
tion her spiritual nature. And notwithstanding 
the fact that fatherhood has also, to a certain 
degree, developed in man the qualities of tender 
ness, watchfulness, patience, yet the enormous 
predominance of woman s physical share in parent 
hood, in comparison with man s, is in itself enough 
to create, in course of time, the intimate con 
nection which still exists to-day between mother 
and child, as well as the difference between the 
personality of woman and man. The physical 
functions of motherhood were the fundamental 
reasons for the earliest division of labour. And 
this division of labour, the aim of which, next to 
self-preservation, was for both sexes the protection 
of posterity, augmented and strengthened the 
qualities which each sex employed for its special 
functions. All human qualities lie latent in each. 
But they have been so specialised by this division 
of labour, or, on the other hand, suppressed by it, 
that they now appear in varying proportions: in 
woman, a careful, managing, supervising, life- 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 187 

guarding, inward-directed sense of love; in man, 
courage, desire for action, force of will, power of 
thought, an activity subduing nature and life, 
became the distinguishing characteristics; and 
fatherhood became psychologically, as it is physio 
logically, something different from motherhood. 
Even if culture continues to efface the sharp lines 
of demarcation, so that it becomes more and more 
impossible to generalise about "woman" and 
"man," and increasingly more necessary for each 
and every woman to solve the "woman question" 
individually, yet from the point of view of the race, 
the division of labour must on the whole remain the 
same as that which hitherto existed, if the higher 
development of mankind shall continue in unin 
terrupted advance to more perfect forms. It is 
necessary for these higher ends of culture that woman 
in an ever more perfect manner shall fulfil what has 
hitherto been her most exalted task: the bearing and 
rearing of the new generation. 

The amaternal assertion, that motherliness can 
be no higher than justice and truth, is an infuriating 
antithesis. It is as if one should assert that "air 
is better than water, or both better than bread." 
Both assertions place the fundamental condition 
of life counter to other needs of life! Who shall 
exercise justice and truth when no new men are 
born? And, moreover, how shall justice and truth 
increase in mankind if children are not trained to 
a greater reverence for justice and a deeper love 
of truth? In order to fulfil this one office of 

1 88 The Woman Movement 

education well, mothers need their universal human 
culture in its entirety. But even if this were not 
so, if motherhood did not require the concentration 
of woman s personality; even if motherliness 
remained only "primitive instinct," yet this 
instinct, in the women who have guarded it, is 
more valuable for mankind than the universal 
human development of power of the women who 
have lost this instinct. No social nor individual 
activity of women could compensate for the extinc 
tion of this "instinct," which only recently in 
Messina drove hundreds of mothers to shield their 
children with their own bodies; this "instinct," 
which recently impelled a mother, who learned 
before she gave birth to her child that her own 
life must be the price for the saving of that of the 
child, to cry: "I have lived, but the life of my 
child belongs now to mankind save the child!" 
So the mother died without even having seen the 
beautiful being for whom she gave her life. In 
the world of "personally" developed women, 
however, after a new Messina catastrophe the 
mothers would be found with their manuscript 
and their pictures in their arms. And confronted 
with a choice like that related above, the mother 
would answer: "Let the child die, I will live my 
personal life to the end." 

The amaternal type must persist for the present. 
There are in reality in our time many women who 
with unresponsive eyes can pass by a lovely child, 
among them even mothers who do not feel the 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 189 

pure sensuousness, the wise madness, the intoxicat 
ing delight which such a child awakens in every 
motherly woman ; mothers who have no conception 
what a fascinating subject for study the soul of a 
child can offer. Jean Paul, who scourged worth 
less mothers and tried to awaken the repressed 
maternal instinct of his time with the charge that 
a woman who is bored when she has children, is a 
contemptible creature, would find to-day many 
mothers who are bored only if they have their 
children about them. 

And these cerebral, amaternal women must 
obviously be accorded the freedom of finding the 
domestic life, with its limited but intensive exercise 
of power meagre, beside the feeling of power which 
they enjoy as public personalities, as consummate 
women of the world, as talented professionals. 
But they have not the right to falsify life values 
in their own favour so that they themselves shall 
represent the highest form of life, the "human 
personality" in comparison with which the "in 
stinctively feminine" signifies a lower stage of 
development, a poorer type of life. 

Women who have produced books and works "] 
of art, to be compared, as respects permanence of 
value, to confetti at a carnival, have, according 
to this viewpoint, proved themselves human 
individualities, while a mother who has contribu 
ted an endless amount of clear thought, rich 
understanding, warm feeling, and strong will to 
the education of a fine group of children, requires 

190 The Woman Movement 

a public office in order to prove herself a "human 
personality"! The brain work which a woman 
employs in a commercial concern bears witness 
to her individuality, but the brain work which a 
large, well-managed household demands, does not. 
The woman physician who delivers a mother 
expresses her "personality," but the mother has 
put no "personality" into the feelings with which 
she has borne the child, the dreams with which she 
has consecrated it, the ideas in accordance with 
which she has educated it! The girl who has 
passed her examinations has proved herself a 
developed human being; but her grandmother, 
who is now filled with the kindness and wisdom 
which she has won in a life dedicated to domestic 
duties, a life in which the restricted sphere of her 
duties did not prevent the comprehensiveness of 
her cultural interests, nor her all-embracing sym 
pathy with humanity such a woman is not a 
personality ! 

When men advance as an argument against 
women s rights the fear that women will lose their 
womanliness in public life, the older feminists 
answer that womanliness, especially motherliness, 
is rooted too firmly in nature to make it possible 
for this danger to exist. Nothing has, however, 
become more clear in this amaternalistic time than 
that motherliness is not an indestructible instinct. 
Just as our time produces in increasing numbers 
sterile women and women incapable of nursing 
their children, so it produces more and more 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 191 

psychically amaternal women. We can pass in 
silence the cases of children martyred in families 
or in children s homes, for sexual perversity and 
religious fanaticism often play a r61e in such 
connections; we can also pass by the millions of 
mothers who bring about the abortion of their 
offspring, for the poor are driven to such practices 
largely by necessity, the rich mostly by love of 
pleasure. There still remain a sufficient number 
of women in whom the mother instinct has faded 
away because of a course of thought like that just 
described. Our time furnishes manifold proofs 
of the fact that the mother instinct can easily be 
weakened, or even entirely disappear, although 
the erotic impulse continues to live; that mother- 
liness is not a spontaneous natural instinct, but 
the product of thousands of years not merely of 
child-bearing, but also of child-rearing; and that it 
must be strengthened in each new generation by 
the personal care which mothers bestow upon their 
children. A woman learns to love the strange 
child whom she nurses as if it were her own; a 
father who can devote himself to the care of his 
little children is possessed by an almost "motherly 
tenderness" for them, as are also older brothers 
and sisters for the little ones whom they care for. 
But while those who advocate the cause of the 
amaternal women draw from such facts the con 
clusion that motherliness cannot be used as a 
criterion of womanliness, yet an entirely different 
conclusion forces itself upon everyone who sees 

192 The Woman Movement 

in the united uplift of the individual and of man 
kind the criterion of the life-enhancing effect of 
the woman movement, the conclusion that the 
amaternal soul not only confirms the worst ap 
prehensions of men in regard to the results of the 
woman movement, but also constitutes the greatest 
danger to the woman movement itself. For the 
amaternal ideas will evoke a violent reaction on the 
part of men, in case such a reaction does not appear 
at an early stage on the part of women. 

This latter reaction might also include a rebel 
lion against the methods of industrial production, 
which exhaust the strength of mothers and children. 
For the objection of industrialism, that "it cannot 
exist without women," falls to the ground in face 
of the fact that a race cannot exist without sound 
and moral mothers. And "moral" means, here, 
mothers capable and willing to bear sound children 
and to train children along moral lines. If, on 
the contrary, Europe and America adhere to the 
economic and ethical principles which prevent a 
number of able and willing women of this type from 
becoming mothers, and if numbers of other women 
who could be mothers continue unwilling to as 
sume the burden of motherhood, then this problem 
will finally become the problem of a future for the 
European-American people. 

The woman movement must now with resolute 
determination abandon the narrow, biased attitude, 
psychologically natural a generation ago when 
the zealots of feminism had no other standard of 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 193 

value for an idea, an investigation, or a book, than 
whether they advanced or did not advance the cause 
of woman; whether they proved or did not prove 
woman s equality with man. For woman s work, 
studies, and other accomplishments, no other 
standard was applied than that of equality with 
man s work, man s studies, and the accomplish 
ments of man. In a word, the proposition was 
that woman should be enabled to perform at the 
same time the life-work of a woman and of a man ! 
It is through these hybrids that the feminine sex 
transgresses against the masculine. And this is 
one reason why our time is so filled with the tragic 
vicissitudes of women. Truly, every progressive 
person must agree with Goethe s aphorism, "I 
love him whom the impossible lures." For, thus 
allured, man has elevated his particular generation 
above the generation preceding. But in action 
every one must go down who is not imbued with 
the consciousness that whoever exceeds his limits 
is liable to tragic consequences, in the modern 
psychological view of the guilt attaching to one 
who undertakes more than his strength will 

But our time exhibits also other less convulsively 
strained conditions of the feminine soul and there 
fore also brighter fates for woman. It shows not 
infrequently wives united with their husbands, 
not only by the sympathy which the human per 
sonality of each inspires, but also by the erotic 

194 The Woman Movement 

attraction which the sex character of each exercises. 
And they have both won thereby that unity 
through which all the best and highest powers of 
their being are liberated and elevated as by 
religion. And their parenthood will then be the 
highest expression of this religion. 

Only religious natures are in the deepest 
meaning of the word loving or faithful or cre 
ative. It is the same soul which in one person 
reveals itself in ecstasy of belief, in a second 
in ardour of creation, in a third in a great erotic 
passion, in the fourth as parental love, in others 
again as love of country, as enthusiasm for freedom, 
desire for reform. At times one and the same soul, 
a woman s or a man s, is kindled by all these 
passions. But never has the same soul been able 
at the same time to feed all these passions in their 
highest potency. Whether it be God, a work, or 
a human being that the soul embraces with its 
entire devotion, the religious character of this 
devotion always evinces itself in increasing longing, 
an endless susceptibility, a more persistent search 
after means of expression, a continual service, an 
inexhaustible patience in waiting for reciprocal 
activity from the object of love. The religious 
strength of a feeling consists in this, that the soul 
in every work, every sorrow, every joy, in a word, 
in every spiritual condition, every experience, is, 
consciously as well as unconsciously, more closely 
united with God, with the work, with the beloved, 
until every finest fibre of one s being reaches down 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 195 

to the profound depths which the object of love 
represents for the lover. 

In this necessary condition of concentration of 
the spiritual life is found the truth of woman V 
complaint that the man, absorbed by his work, 
"no longer loves her"; the truth of the experience 
that earthly love indisputably detracts from the 
love of God; the truth of the frequent experience 
of husband and wife that with children the wealth 
of their spiritual life together is in certain respects 
inevitably diminished; the truth of man s fear 
that woman s absorption in a life-work personally 
dear to her must to a certain degree detract from 
her devotion to the home ; the truth of the experi 
ence that the office of mother often interferes with 
the development of woman s intellectual power. 

Only persons who distinguish themselves by 
what Heine called "exuberance of mental poverty," 
or what I might call analogously an "abyss of 
superficiality," have not experienced the severe 
and beautiful psychic truth of Jesus glorification 
of simplicity. The quiet harkening to the voice of 
God or to the inspiration of work or to the delicate 
vibrations of another soul, which daily, hourly, 
momentarily, are the conditions that enable the 
soul to live wholly in its belief, its work, its love, 
so that these feelings may grow stronger and the 
soul grow greater through these feelings all this 
has "simplicity" as a condition; in a word, sym 
metrical unity, longing for completeness, inner 
poise, the swift emotion. Fidelity to a belief, 

196 The Woman Movement 

a work, a love is no product of duty. It is a 
process of growth. 

These are the conditions to which many modern 
women, womanly at heart but divided, restless, 
groping, attempting much, will not submit. They 
could even learn to reverence these conditions in 
the child for whom play is such sacred seriousness ; 
but instead they transform the most sacred earnest 
into play. 

Other women, on the contrary, are beginning 
to understand these conditions of growth and to 
comprehend that it was exactly the protected 
position of woman in the home, which has made it 
possible for her family feeling to acquire that depth 
which is to be attained only by concentration. 
But if this is no longer possible, then woman will 
love those that belong to her with less religious 
warmth. Nothing can better illustrate the differ 
ence still existing between man and woman in this 
respect, than the fact that most men would con 
sider themselves unfortunate if their entire exercise 
of power were concentrated upon the family, while 
most women still feel themselves fortunate when 
they have been given the opportunity to exercise 
to the uttermost the tendency inherent in them. 
For most women love best personally and in propin 
quity, while the potency of love in man often seeks 
distant goals. Woman is happy in the degree to 
which she can bestow her love upon a person 
closely connected with her; if she cannot do that, 
then she may be useful, resigned, content, but 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 197 

never happy. 1 The very fact that woman s 
strongest primitive instinct coincided with her 
greatest cultural office has been an essential factor 
in the harmony of her being. 

The modern developed mother feels with every 
breath a grateful joy in that she lives the most 
perfect life when she can contribute her developed 
human powers, her liberated human personality, 
to the establishment of a home and to the vocation 
of motherhood. These functions conceived and 
understood as social, in the embracing sense in 
which the word is now used, give the new mother 
a richer opportunity to exercise her entire person 
ality than she could find in modern commercial 
work. In one such occupation she must suppress 
either the intellectual or the emotional side of her 
nature; in another, the life either of the imagina 
tion or of the will. In domestic duties, on the 
contrary, these powors of the soul can work in 
unison. This is undoubtedly the deepest reason 
why, taken as a whole, women have become more 
harmonious, and men stronger in any special 
crisis, women more soulful, men more gifted. On 
this account men offer their great sacrifice more 
readily for an idea, or for the accomplishment of 
a work; women, for persons closely connected 

1 The best proof of this is that many women who, in a life free 
from care in an outward sense, were comparable only to geese or 
peacocks, nevertheless, when hard times came and gave them 
opportunity to develop their power of love, not only proved them 
selves heroines, but asserted that their "happy" years were 
those in which they had so "sacrificed" themselves. 

198 The Woman Movement 

with them. And yet this co-operation of woman s 
spiritual powers was in earlier times partly re 
pressed by man s demand for passivity on the part 
of woman as a thinking and willing personality, 
but for her unceasing activity as promoter of his 
comfort and that of the entire home. The mother 
of to-day can, on the contrary, exercise, as dis 
tributer, her culture, her thought, her supervision, 
her judgment, and her criticism, in order to make 
fully effective the faculty of her sex for foresight 
and organisation. She applies a great amount of 
spiritual energy to the selection of the essentials 
and the subordination of secondary things, to the 
creation of such facilities in the material work 
that time and means are left for the spiritual 
values, which, alas, are still neglected in the 
domestic economy of small, private households, 
as well as in national housekeeping. And as 
mother, modern woman is offered the first fitting 
opportunity to assert herself as a thinking and 
willing personality. 

The significance of the vocation of mother has 
been underrated in its significance even by 
moderate feminists. But these were right when 
they demonstrated that the "sanctity" of this 
office had become a mere phrase, so badly or 
amateurishly was this vocation fulfilled an in 
dictment in which Nietzsche and feminism for 
one rare moment are on common ground. Mothers 
needed the spur of this contempt ; it was necessary 
that their feeling of responsibility, their universal 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 199 

human culture, their personal self-reliance, should 
be aroused by the woman movement. Only so 
could the new generation acquire the new type of 
women who for the present seek to qualify them 
selves by self -culture for the office of mother, in 
the expectation that for all women an obligatory 
education for motherhood will be realised. So 
long as this vocation can be practised without any 
training, nothing can be known of the possibilities 
whereby ordinary mothers may become good 
educators unless they place the mother love and 
the intuitive understanding of the nature of the 
child that it affords above even the best outside 
teachers. Just as a glorious voice makes a country 
girl a "natural singer," so nature has at all 
times made certain mothers and not least the 
women of the people natural educators of 

The biography of nearly every great man shows 
the place the mother through her personality 
occupied in the life of her son, the atmosphere 
which she diffused about her in the home, her 
direct and indirect influence. But only the 
culture of their natural gifts with conscious pur 
pose will make of mothers artists. 

When Nietzsche wrote : There will come a time 
when we shall have no other thought than education ," 
and when he placed this education specifically in 
the hands of mothers, least of all did he mean 
those "arts of education," from which amaternals 
believe they "guard" children by rejecting an 

200 The Woman Movement 

"artistically creative" home training by the 
mother, as a violence to the peculiar characteristic 
of the child! 

The new mother, as the doctrine of evolution and 
the true woman movement have created her, 
stands with deep veneration before the mystic 
depths she calls her child, a being in whom the 
whole life of mankind is garnered. The richer 
the nature of the child is, the more zealously she 
endeavours to preserve for him that simplicity 
which he needs, and at the same time to provide 
for him the material that will enable him to work 
for himself. She insures to the child the pleasures 
adapted to his age, pleasures which at no later 
time can be enjoyed so intensely. The effect upon 
him of his playfellows and books, of nature, art, 
music, conversation, of the entire home milieu 
which the child receives, above all the influence 
of the personality and interests of the father and 
mother all these the mother who is an artist in 
education observes in order to learn the natural 
proclivity of the child and then directly to strengthen 
and encourage it. At the same time she endeavours 
to find out what restraints are necessary in order 
that the natural bent be not impeded in its growth by 
secondary qualities. But the new type of mother 
does not seek to eradicate; she recognises the like 
ness between wheat and tares. The Christian 
education, which has thus far prevailed, has 
exercised a restraining oppression or has done 
violence to the "sinful nature," which must be 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 201 

broken and bent ; this education was dermatologi- 
cal, not psychological, in method. 

The new mother is especially characterised by 
the fact that she has rejected this earlier method. 
She allows her child, within certain bounds, full 
freedom, and demands, beyond those bounds, 
unconditional obedience. She helps the child to 
find for himself ever nobler motives for repression. 
This she can do because from the very beginning 
she has taken care of him; year by year she has 
persevered in the effort to establish good habits; 
she has tried to enlist as aids, food, bath, bed, 
dress, air, and play in the effort to keep him strong, 
sound, sexually pure conditions fundamental to 
the whole later conduct of life. Such a methodi 
cal physical care can be performed by the mother 
herself, while, on the other hand, in the first years 
of childhood paid hands might, through careless 
ness, stupidity, cruelty, laxity, or over-indulgence, 
destroy the glorious possibilities. If the preven 
tion of the possibilities of nature being warped or 
destroyed constituted all that a mother could give, 
this one task would, nevertheless, be more impor 
tant than any social relief work. 

What characterises the new mother is that she 
understands the enormous significance of the first 
years, when the indispensable "training" takes 
place, in which the future life of the child is 
determined by the methods employed whether 
they be those of torture or of culture, irrational or 
rational. Then the great problem must be solved 

202 The Woman Movement 

of establishing willing obedience from within in 
place of the hitherto enforced obedience from 
without; of maintaining self-control, won by self, 
in place of self-control imposed from without; 
of evoking voluntary renunciation in place of 
enforcing renunciation. For the capacity for 
obedience, for self-control, for renunciation, is 
one of the qualities fundamental to the whole 
later conduct of life. The new mother knows this 
as well as the mother of former times. But she 
endeavours to create this capacity by slow and 
sure means. The same thing obtains in regard to 
physical and psychical courage, which in the early 
years can often be so demoralised by fright that 
it can never emerge again. The training which 
hitherto was customary based on compelling and 
forbidding had its effect only upon the surface 
and prevented the child from experiencing the 
results of his own choice. 

It is this indirect education by results which is 
the new mother s method. Her unceasing vigi 
lance and consistency are required in order that 
the child shall actually bear the results of his 
actions. What she needs for this is first and fore 
most, time, time, and again time. Apparently 
good effects can be obtained much quicker by 
intervening, preventing, punishing, but thus are 
turned aside the real results. By this method the 
child is deprived of the inner growth, which only 
the fully experienced reality with its components 
of bitter and sweet can give; and this growth the 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 203 

new mother endeavours to advance. Much more 
time still is necessary to play the psychological 
game of chess, which consists in the checkmating 
of black by white; in other words, the conquest of 
negative characteristics by positive, through the 
child s own activity a task in which the child at 
first must be guided, just as in the assimilation of 
the elements of every other accomplishment, but 
in which he can later perfect himself. Modern in 
vestigation in the realm of the soul enables us to 
see the dangers which sometime will demand quite 
as new methods in spiritual hygiene as bacteri 
ology has created in the hygiene of the body. But 
we still leave unexercised powers of the soul, still 
misunderstand spiritual laws which sometime will 
radically transform the means of education. At 
some future day the new mothers will institute 
legal protection for children to an extent incompre 
hensible to us and therefore provocative only of 
smiles. For example, legal prohibition of corporal 
punishment by parents as well as teachers; legal 
prohibition of child labour, of certain tenement 
conditions, certain "amusements," certain im 
proper uses of the press. For the present every 
individual educator must set these laws over him 
self; must sedulously create counter influences to 
cope with the destructive influences which great 
cities, especially, exert upon children. 1 The new 

1 How many children have had their idea of right debased by 
the manner in which the "Captain of Kopernick" was received 
at his liberation to cite only one example. 

204 The Woman Movement 

mothers lead children out into nature and en 
deavour to satisfy their zeal for activity by 
appropriate tasks as well as to encourage by suit 
able means their love of invention and their im 
pulse for play. In the country children provide 
much for themselves. But what both city and 
country children need is a mother familiar with 
nature, who can answer the questions which the 
child is by his own observations prompted to ask; 
and the number of such mothers is continually 
increasing. Both city and country children need 
also a mother who can tell stories. Just as the 
settlement gardens most clearly demonstrate how 
sundered the working people of the great cities 
are from nature, so the "story evenings," which 
are now established for children, show how far 
children have been permitted to stray from the 
mother, who formerly gathered them about her 
for the hour of story, play, and song. What, 
finally, children need is the mother s delicate 
revelation of the sexual "mystery," which often 
early exercises the thoughts of the child and in 
which he should be initiated quietly and gradually 
by the mother. 

All the educational influences here outlined 
emanate not only from the enlightened, excep 
tional mother; they are exercised by the average 
mother of to-day to better advantage than by the 
spiritually significant mother of fifty years ago. 
And they are quite as essential, in order that the 
highest possibility within the reach of each may 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 205 

be attained, in the education of the genius as in 
that of the ordinary child. Such influences in 
like degree strengthen the innate bent of the 
genius and raise the average, from generation to 
generation, to a level where man can live according 
to higher standards than those of the present 
time. The new mothers understand that for the 
utilisation of all these opportunities that make 
their appearance in the first seven years of the 
child s life, their motherly tenderness, gentleness, 
and patience do not suffice; that they need in 
addition all the intelligence, imagination, fine 
feeling, scientific methods of observation, ethical 
and aesthetic culture and other spiritual acquisi 
tions they possess, as direct and indirect fruits of 
the woman movement. 

When student and comrade life begin to claim 
the children, when the influence of the mother 
that is of the now mother who has respect for the 
peculiar characteristic, the human worth, and the 
right of the child to live his own life becomes 
more indirect, she nevertheless bears in mind that 
it is of the utmost importance that the son and 
the daughter should find the ^mother, when they 
return to the parental roof; that they should be 
able to breathe there an atmosphere of peace and 
warmth; that they should find the attentive eye, 
the listening ear, the helpful hand ; that the mother 
should have the repose, the fine feeling, the obser 
vation requisite for following, without interfering 
with, the conflicts of youth; that she should not 

206 The Woman Movement 

demand confidences but be always at hand to 
receive them ; that she should show vital sympathy 
for the plans of work, the disappointments, the 
joys, of the young people; that she should always 
have time for caresses, tears, smiles, comfort, and 
care; that she should divine their moods, and 
anticipate their desires. By all these means the 
mother perpetuates in the soul of the child, 
unknown to him and to herself, her own person 
ality. The talent which she has not redeemed by 
a productive work of her own, perhaps often for 
that very reason, benefits mankind in a son or a 
daughter, in whose soul the mother has implanted 
the social ideas, the dreams, the rebellion, which 
later become in them social deeds or works of art. 
Above all, in the restless, sensitive, life-deciding 
years when the boy is becoming a youth and the 
little girl a maiden, the mother needs quiet and 
leisure to be able to give the ineffably needy 
children "the hoarded, secret treasure of her 
heart," as the beautiful saying of Durer runs. 

When such a mother is found, and such mothers 
are already found, she is the most splendid fruit of 
the woman movement s sowing upon the field of 
woman s nature. 

Because the new mother created for herself an 
open space about her own personality, she under 
stands her son or her daughter when they in their 
turn push her aside in order to create that same 
open space about themselves. For in every gener 
ation the young renounce the ideals and the aims 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 207 

of their parents. The knowledge of this does not 
prevent the new mother, any more than it did the 
mother of earlier times, from feeling the pain 
incident to being set aside. But the former looks 
forward to a day when the son and daughter will 
freely choose her as a friend, having discovered 
what a significant pleasure the mother s person 
ality can afford them. 

As the bird s nest is made of nothing but bits of 
straw and down, so the feeling of home is fashioned 
out of soft, simple things ; out of little activities that 
are neither ponderable nor measurably as political 
or as economic factors. When Segantini painted 
the two nuns looking wistfully into the bird s 
nest, he gave expression to the deepest pain that 
many modern women experience, the pain resulting 
from the consciousness that their life, notwith 
standing its freedom, is lonely, because it has 
denied them the privilege of making a home and 
as a consequence has failed to afford them the 
joy of creation, which nature intended they should 
have, and of continuity of life in children to whom 
they gave birth. 

Here we stand at a point where the woman 
movement parallels the other social revolutions, 
undeviatingly as the rails of a track, and leads to 
the same objective. Modern men and women, and 
especially women, have forfeited an opportunity for 
happiness in the loss of the feeling of homogeneity 
and security. Just as formerly the property-hold 
ing family felt a secure sense of proprietorship in 

208 The Woman Movement 

the ancestral estate, so every member of the home 
group felt himself safe in the family. Now the 
children cannot depend with certainty upon the 
parents, nor the parents upon the children; the 
wife upon the husband, nor the husband upon the 
wife. Each in extremity relies only upon him 
self. The character of man is thus altered quite 
as much as trees are changed when they are left 
standing alone in the denuded forest of which 
they once formed a part. If they can withstand 
the storms, they have produced more " character " 
than they had when they stood close together, under 
a mutual protection that nevertheless enforced 

From their earliest youth innumerable women 
must now care for themselves, as well as decide 
for themselves. Thus the feeling of independence 
of modern woman has increased through the sacri 
fice of her peace; her individual characteristics, at 
the expense of her harmony. Her feeling of loneli 
ness is mitigated to a certain degree by the growing 
feeling of community with the whole. But this 
feeling cannot compensate certain natures for the 
forfeiture of the advantages which women of 
earlier times possessed, when they sat secure and 
protected within the four walls of the home, 
sucked the juice from family chronicles, guarded 
family traditions, maintained the old holiday 
customs, lived at the same time in the past and 
in the present. 

The new woman lives in the present, sometimes 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 209 

even in the future her land of romance! The 
enthusiasm of the old romanticism about a "hut 
and a heart" has little charm for her. For she 
knows reality and that prevents her from giv 
ing credence to the feminine illusion that twice 
two can be five. What she does know, on the 
contrary, is that out of fours she can gradually 
work out sixteen. While the women of former 
times could only save, the new woman can acquire. 
Woman s beautiful, foolish superstition regarding 
life has vanished, but her eagerness to achieve can 
still remove mountains, her daring has still often 
the splendour of a dream. Intellectual values are 
for her no longer pastimes but necessities of life; 
with her culture has developed her feeling for 
truth and justice. This does not secure the new 
woman immunity at all times from new illusions 
and errors of feeling, nor does it prevent her 
developing passions whose value, to say the least, 
is questionable. But in and through her deter 
mination "to be some one, " to have a characteris 
tic personality, she has acquired a love of life, in 
its diverse manifestations, both good and evil; a 
new capacity to enjoy her own and others indi 
viduality, as well as a new joy sometimes an 
unblushing, insolent joy in expressing her own 
being. In place of the earlier resignation toward 
society, the expression of rebellion is found even 
in the sparkling eye of the school-girl, with red 
cap upon her curly hair. 

The young women of to-day, married or single, 

210 The Woman Movement 

mothers as well as those who are childless, are 
still more vigorous in soul, more courageous, more 
eager for life than are men. Because all that which 
for men has so long been a matter of course, is for 
women new, rich, enchanting, comprising, as it does, 
free life in nature, scientific studies, serious artistic 
work economic independence. Even in a fine and 
soulful woman there is found something of the 
inevitable hardness toward herself and others of 
which an observer is instinctively conscious when 
he speaks of some woman as one who "will go far" 
upon the course she has chosen. The modern 
young woman desires above all else the elevation 
of her own personality. She experiences the same 
feeling of joy a man is conscious of when she real 
ises that her strength of will is augmented, her 
ability becoming more certain, her depth of 
thought greater, her association of ideas richer. 
She stands ready to choose her work and follow 
her fate; in sorrow as in joy she experiences the 
blessedness of growth, and she loves her view of 
life and the work to which she has dedicated 
herself, often as devotedly as man loves his. 

If we compare the seventeen-year-old girl of 
to-day with her progenitor living in the middle 
of the foregoing century, we find that the girl of 
earlier times was to a larger extent swayed by 
feeling, and that the modern girl is to a larger 
extent determined by ideas. The former was 
directed more to the centre of life, the latter remains 
often nearer the periphery ; the former was warmer, 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 211 

the latter is more intelligent; the former was 
better balanced, the latter is more interesting. 

The restlessness, the uncertainty, the feeling of 
emptiness, the suffering, that is sometimes experi 
enced by the young woman of to-day, is primarily 
traceable to the disintegration of religious belief, 
which gave to the older generation of emancipated 
women an inner stability, resignation, and self- 
discipline. Scientific study has deprived many 
modern women of their belief and those who can 
create a new one, suited to their needs, are still 
very few. Thus to the outer homelessness an 
inner estrangement is added. The woman move 
ment has, it is true, contributed indirectly to this 
spiritual distress by making the road to man s 
culture accessible to woman. For men also 
suffer in like manner, and suffer above all perhaps 
because our culture is unstable, aimless, and lacks 
style, owing to the very fact that it is at present 
without a religious centre. And even the future 
can give to mankind no such new centre as the 
Middle Ages had, for example, in Catholicism. 
The attainment of individualism has shut out 
that possibility forever. 

But one factor in the religion of the past, the 
adoration of motherhood as divine mystery; one 
factor in the religion of the Middle Ages, the wor 
ship of the Madonna, has meanwhile been given 
back to the present by the doctrine of evolution, 
with that universal validity which the thought 
must possess which seeks to give again to culture 

212 The Woman Movement 

a centre. Great, solitary individuals prophets 
more often than sibyls have proclaimed the 
religion of this generation. But the word will 
become flesh only when fathers and mothers instil 
into the blood and soul of children their devout 
hope for a higher humanity. When women are 
permeated by this hope, this new devout feeling, 
then they will recover the piety, the peace, and 
the harmony which for the present, and partly 
owing to feminism, have been lost. 

The innumerable new relations which the 
woman movement has established between woman 
and the home, between woman and society, and 
all of the interchanges of new spiritual forces 
which have been put in operation because of these 
relations, cannot possibly take fixed form, at 
least not so long as the woman movement remains 
"a movement"; in other words, as long as every 
thing is in a condition of flux, in a state of becoming, 
all spiritual relationships between individuals 
must change their form. Continual new, fine 
shades of feeling, not to be expressed in words, 
determine every woman s soul and every woman s 
fate. And even ancient feelings receive continually 
different nuances, different intonations. I am, 
therefore, laying down no laws but merely re 
capitulating certain suggestions based on what has 
previously been said in regard to the soul of the 
modern woman, as seen in that portion of the 
present generation whose age ranges between 
twenty and thirty years that is to say, that 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 213 

part of the generation which is decisive for the 
immediate future. 

Since co-education is becoming more and 
more general, each sex is beginning to have more 
esteem for the other, and woman, as well as man, 
is beginning to found self-respect upon work. 
When all women by culture and capacity for work 
have finally become strong-willed, self-supporting 
co-workers in society, then no woman will give 
or receive love for any extraneous benefit what 
soever. No outward tie and no outward gain 
through love this is the ultimate aim of the new 
sex morale as the most highly developed modern 
young woman sees it. 

The new woman is deeply convinced that the 
relation between the sexes attains its true beauty 
and sanctity only when every external privilege 
disappears on both sides, when man and woman 
stand wholly equal in what concerns their legal 
right and their personal freedom. 

She demands that the contrasts between legal 
and illegal, rich and poor, boy and girl, shall dis 
appear, and that society shall show the same 
interest in the complete human development of 
all children. She knows that when both sexes 
awake to a feeling of responsibility toward the 
future generation, then the real concern of sexual 
morale becomes the endeavor to give the race an 
ever more perfect progeny. And in order to 
feel in its fulness this command, maidens as well 
as youths must henceforth demand scientific 

The Woman Movement 

instruction in sexual duties toward themselves and 
their possible children. 

The new woman is also deeply convinced that 
only when she feels happy and happiness signifies 
the development of the powers inherent in the 
personality can she properly fulfil her duties 
as daughter, wife, and mother. She can con 
sciously sacrifice a part of her personality, for ex 
ample forego the development of a talent, but she 
can never subjugate nor surrender her whole per 
sonality and at the same time remain a strong- 
willed member of the family or of society, in the 
broadest meaning of the word. She must assert 
her conception of life, her feeling of right, her 
ideals. And no social considerations for children, 
husband, or family life are, for her, above the con 
sideration which, in this respect, she owes to her 
own personality. When conflicts arise, she seeks, 
wherever possible, a solution that will permit her 
to fulfil her duty without annihilating herself. 
But if this is not possible, then she feels that it is 
her first duty not to fall below her ideal, either 
physically or spiritually. For this would prevent 
her from fulfilling precisely those duties for which 
she has so sacrificed herself; duties which she can 
perhaps perform later under other conditions, 
provided she has saved herself from being ex 
tinguished by brutality or despotism. 

But along with this individualism there exists 
in the new woman a feeling for the unity of exist 
ence, the unity in which all things are parts and 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 215 

in which nothing is lost. She does not, then, 
look upon husband and children as continually 
demanding sacrifice and upon herself as being 
always sacrificed; she sees herself and them, as in 
the antiquity of the race, always existing by means 
of one another. She is not consumed by her love, 
for she knows that under such circumstances 
she would deprive her loved ones of the wealth 
of her personality. But although she will not, 
like the women of earlier times, abandon her ego 
absolutely, she will not, on the other hand, like 
certain modern feminists, keep it unreservedly. 
She will preserve upon a higher plane the old 
division of labour which made man the one who 
felled the game, fought the battles, made con 
quests, achieved advancement through victories; 
and which made woman the one who rendered 
the new domains habitable, who utilised the booty 
for herself and hers, who transmitted what was 
won to the new generation all that of which 
woman s ancient tasks as guardian of the fire and 
cultivator of the fields are beautiful symbols. 
She feels that when each sex pursues its course for 
the happiness of the individual and of mankind, 
but at the same time and as an equal helps the 
other in the different tasks, then each is most 
capable, then society is most benefited. 

The fact that there is still so much masculine 
brutality and despotism, and that there are so 
many legal means at man s disposal whereby he 
may put into practice with impunity this brutality 

216 The Woman Movement 

and despotism, is the reason why the new woman 
is still always a "feminist," why she still maintains 
the fundamental tenets of the woman movement. 
But she is not a feminist in the sense that she 
turns against man. Her solution is always that 
of Mary Wollstonecraf t : "We do not desire to 
rule over men but to rule over ourselves." She 
often exhibits now in deliberation and in deter 
mination the characteristics which were formerly 
called "masculine": practical knowledge, love of 
truth, courage of conviction ; she desists more and 
more from unjust imputations and empty words; 
she proposes a greater number of well-considered 
suggestions for improvements. The woman move 
ment has now in a word a more universally 
human, a less onesidedly feminine character. It 
emphasises more and more the fact that the right 
of woman is a necessity in order that she may ful 
fil her duties in the small, individual family, and 
exercise her powers in the great, universal human 
family for the general good. The new woman 
does not wish to displace man nor to abolish 
society. She wishes to be able to exercise every 
where her most beautiful prerogative to help, to 
support, to comfort. But this she cannot do so 
long as she is not free as a citizen and has not 
fully developed as a human personality. She 
knows that this is the condition not only of her 
own happiness, but also, in quite as high a degree, 
of the happiness of man. For every man who 
works, struggles, and suffers there is a mother, a 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 217 

wife, a sister, a daughter, who suffers with him. 
For every woman who in her way works and strug 
gles, there is a father, a husband, a brother, or a 
son for whom her contribution directly or indirectly 
has significance. Above all, the modern woman 
understands that in every marriage wherein a 
wife still suffers under man s misuse of his legal 
authority, it is in the last analysis the man who 
sustains the greatest injury, for under present 
conditions he needs exercise neither kindness nor 
justice nor intelligence to be ruler in the family. 
These humane characteristics he must, therefore, 
begin to develop when the wife is legally his equal. 

The sacred conviction of the new woman is 
that man and woman rise together, just as they 
sink together. 

The antique sepulchres, on which man and wife 
stand hand in hand before the eternal farewell, 
could quite as well be the symbol of the entrance 
of modern man and modern woman into the new 
life, where they work together in order that the 
highest ideals of both the ideals of justice and of 
human kindness may assume form in reality. 
The motherly qualities of women are applied 
for the good of children as well as of the weak and 
the suffering. The arrival of the day when woman 
shall be given opportunity to exercise social 
motherliness in its full and popularly representa 
tive extent, can be only a question of time. In a 
century they will smile at our time, in which it 
was still the practice to debate about such obvious 

218 The Woman Movement 

matters. And those who to-day ridicule the 
woman movement will be ridiculed most of all. 

Then we shall attain such an outlook on the great 
forces of the time, the emancipation movements 
of labouring men and of women, that we shall 
see how necessary both were in order that society 
should come to understand that not the mass of 
material production, but the higher cultivation of 
the race is the social-political end, and that for 
this end the service of mother must receive the 
honour and oblation that the state now gives to 
military service. 

And women themselves, whom nature has 
made creators and protectors of the tender life 
the task for which nature even in the plant 
world has made such wonderful provision will 
no longer resist being more intimately associated 
with nature, nearer to earth, more like plants, 
more restrained in outer sense and therefore, in 
inner respects, less active than man, who always 
had more of the freedom of movement of the forest 
animal. The woman of the future will not, as do 
many women of the present time, wish to be freed 
from her sex; but she will be freed from sexual 
hypertrophy, freed to complete humanity. For 
the universal, human characteristics, forced to 
remain latent in the primitive division of labour, 
because the father was obliged to exert all his 
strength in one direction and the mother in another, 
can now, through the facilities for culture in the 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 219 

struggle for existence, be developed on both sides: 
woman can develop the latent quality which 
became active in man as "manliness"; man can 
develop the latent quality which became active 
in woman as "womanliness." But the propor 
tional ratio of these characteristics, which develop 
ment has already strengthened, will on the whole 
remain fixed the proportional ratio which, in 
the progress of evolution, gave to woman the 
ascendency in regard to inward creative powers, 
and to man the ascendency in regard to outward 
creative powers a proportional ratio which for 
the present has made woman more gifted in the 
sphere of feeling, man more potent in the sphere 
of ideas; which has made her the listener and 
yearner in the sphere of the spiritual life, and him 
the pioneer investigator and founder of systems, 
that has given her more of the Christian, and him 
more of the pagan virtues. The improvement of 
the universal, human characteristics of both sexes 
elevates also the plane upon which they exercise 
their especial functions, valuable alike for culture. 
With increasing frequency the one sex may, when 
so desired, assume the culture function of the 

A perfect fusion of the two spiritual sex- 
characters would, on the contrary, have the same 
result as physical hermaphroditism sterility. 
Genius and in using the term we limit its mean 
ing to poetic genius, for real feminine genius has 
thus ^ar appeared only in that domain embraces, 

220 The Woman Movement 

as emphasised above, both man and woman, but 
not harmoniously blended. For such a genius 
would be unproductive, as we imagine those 
celestial forms to be which are neither "man 
nor woman." The masculine and the feminine 
characteristics, which exist side by side in the 
poet soul, produce work in co-operation. Alter 
nately, however, they seek to usurp the entire 
power, whereby is occasioned the disharmony 
which enters into the life of those who endeavour 
to fulfil at one and the same time the universal, 
human duties as well as those of sex. Indeed it 
may be that one of the reasons why great poetic 
geniuses, masculine as well as feminine, have often 
had no progeny at all, and in other cases one of 
little significance, is that their nature was not 
capable of a double production, that poetic 
creation received the richest part of their physical 
and psychical power. 

Whether the opinion of genius expressed here 
is correct or not, does not, however, affect the 
general situation. For the genius will always go 
his own way, which is never that of the average 
man. From the point of view of the ordinary 
individual an effacement of the spiritual sex- 
character would be in still higher degree a mis 
fortune for culture and nature. For it is the 
difference in the spiritual as well as in the physical 
sex-characteristics that makes love a fusion of two 
beings in a higher unity, where each finds the full 
deliverance and harmony of his being. With the 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 221 

elimination of the spiritual difference psychical 
love would vanish. There would be left, then, 
upon the one side, only the mating instinct, in 
which the same points of view as in animal breed 
ing must obtain ; on the other, only the same kind 
of sympathy which is expressed in the friendship 
between persons of the same sex, the sympathy 
in which the human, individual difference instead 
of sexual difference forms the attraction. In love, 
on the other hand, sympathy grows in intensity, 
the more universally human and at the same time 
sexually attractive the individual is: the "manly" 
in man is charmed by the "womanly" in woman, 
while the "womanly " in man is likewise captivated 
by the "manly" in woman, and "vice versa. But 
when neither needs the spiritual sex of the other 
as his complement, then man, in erotic respects, 
returns to the antique conception of the sex 
relationship, of which Plato has drawn the final 
logical conclusion. 

The "humanity" in the soul of man was strength 
ened when he felt himself necessary to mother 
and child. When woman by sweetness and 
tenderness taught man to love, not only to 
desire, then his humanity increased immeasur 

In our time the average man is beginning to 
learn that woman does not desire him as man, 
that she looks down upon him as a lower kind of 
being, that she does not need him as supporter. 
He does not at all grasp what it is the woman of 

222 The Woman Movement 

highest culture seeks, demands, and awaits from 
his sex. But he learns that even the mediocre 
woman rejects the best he has to give her erotically ; 
that imbued as she is with ideals of "universal 
humanity," she no longer needs him as the supple 
ment to her sexual being. Then brutality awakes 
in him anew ; then his erotic life loses what human 
ity it had won ; then he begins to hate woman. And 
not with the imaginative, theoretical hatred of 
thinkers and poets ; but with the blind rage which 
the contempt of the weaker for the stronger 
arouses in him. And here we encounter what 
is, perhaps, the deepest reason for the pres 
ent war between the sexes, appearing already in 
the literary world as well as in the labour 

Here the extreme feminists play unconsciously 
about an abyss, the depths in the nature of man 
out of which the elementary, hundred-thousand- 
year-old impulses arise, the impulses which all 
cultural acquisitions and influences cannot eradi 
cate, so long as the human race continues 
to subsist and multiply under present condi 

The feminism which has driven individualism to 
the point where the individual asserts her per 
sonality in opposition to, instead of within, the 
race; the individualism which becomes self- 
concentration, anti-social egoism, although the 
watchword inscribed upon its banner is " Society 
instead of the family," this feminism will bear 

Its Influence upon Motherhood 223 

the blame should the hatred referred to lead to 

It would be a pity to conclude a survey of 
the influence of the woman movement with an 
expression of fear lest this extreme feminism 
should be victorious. I believe not ; no more than 
I believe that the sun will for the present be 
extinguished or streams flow back to their sources. 

No "culture" can annul the great fundamental 
laws of nature; it can only ennoble them; and 
motherhood is one of these fundamental laws. 
I hope that the future will furnish a new and a 
more secure protection for motherhood than the 
present family and social organisation affords. 
I place my trust in a new society, with a new 
morality, which will be a synthesis of the being of 
man and that of woman, of the demands of the 
individual and those of society, of the pagan and 
Christian conceptions of life, of the will of the 
future and reverence for the past. 

When the earth blooms with this beautiful and 
vigorous flower of morality, there will no longer 
be a woman movement. But there will always 
be a woman question, not put by women to society 
but by society to women: the question whether 
they will continue in a higher degree to prove 
themselves worthy of the great privilege of being 
the mothers of the new generation. 

In the degree in which this new ethics permeates 
mankind, women will answer this question in 

224 The Woman Movement 

life-affirmation. And the result of their life- 
affirmation will be an enormous enhancement of 
life, not only for women themselves but for all 


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HQ Key, Ellen Karolina Sofia 

The woman movement